Testing Square Foot Gardening
Back in March 2017, we had the brilliant idea to start square foot gardening with families in Kenya. While many had land that available to grow food, they lacked the resources (seeds, equipment, water, knowledge) to get started.
We took a small group of 4 women to Kenya with a goal to build 7 square foot gardens in two different communities, and then see what the results would be.
We faced some challenges with those garden boxes. First, the wood wasn’t exactly straight, as trees were cut down and planed in small shops. It bothered us that trees needed to be cut down for this project in an area that often has extreme drought.
Second, it was expensive. At about $50 per garden box, plus seeds, we weren’t sure how it would really be scalable.
On the June 2017 trip, we had an incredible team that built 15 more garden boxes, bringing our total to 21. Some had worked. One family built out an expansion of their garden that brought tears to our eyes. Another family did nothing with it, and it had been mostly buried.
When we went to visit Mama Joyce, she had expanded her garden and fenced it. She was selling some of the extra vegetables in the village. We were so excited to see the success, but still struggling to find the solution to the high cost. Even worse, we realized that because the garden towers were wood, termites would dig in and eat them away in no time.
We needed a better solution, but decided we would keep going until we found one.
It wasn’t too long before Jacob, one of our Community Directors, reached out to see if what later became the Garden Tower would work.
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