ECHOcommunity Updates

TN #95 100-Fold Vegetable Gardens with Low-Cost Wicking Beds 2019-09-18

EXCERPT: I discovered 100-fold gardens while researching ways to irrigate plants directly in the root zone. I wanted to know how to practically and affordably control some of the variables that influence plant growth, such as water availability and soil fertility. I read about “wicking beds,” which are watered from below as water moves up towards plants’ rooting zone from a reservoir lined with plastic. Watering from below prevents water loss while maintaining constant soil moisture and supplying water and nutrients in accordance with plant needs. 

The wicking beds that I read about were primarily built above ground and used expensive containers and other materials. Proponents recommended potting soil to fill the beds. I began experimenting with local materials to reduce the cost of the beds. I did not want to have to purchase expensive containers or soil, so I decided to dig the beds 30 cm into the ground. That way, the ground would serve as the container, and we could sieve the soil from the hole and use it as the growing medium; it ends up being a fine growing medium that remains friable and that wicks water and nutrients well. We used the rocks and other large objects that were left in the sieve as part of the filler for the bottom of the beds. We were also able to dispose of old tin cans, bottles, broken glass, bones, etc. in the bottom part of the beds.

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Upcoming events

Small-scale seed production and utilization
Mon, 16 September 2019 » Fri, 20 September 2019

ECHO Global Farm, USA

ECHO offers over 350 varieties in its Florida seed bank requiring diverse approaches to growing, processing, and storing seeds. This five-day course will begin in ECHO’s seed production plots to help participants better understand how crops are managed and harvested. Techniques related to both wet and dry processing of seeds will be practiced, as well as, essential tasks such as germination testing. Long-term seed storage approaches including vacuum sealing and cold storage will be explored, ...

GFRAS Annual Meeting Jamaica 2019
Mon, 30 September 2019 » Fri, 4 October 2019

Royalton Negril (Jamaica), Jamaica

The 10th GFRAS Annual Meeting, whose topic is "Role of RAS in Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management" will take place at Royalton Negril, Jamaica between 30 September and 4 October 2019. Side Events are planned to take place on September 30th, the main meeting between October 1-3, and a General Assembly on October 4th. GFRAS Steering Committee/Board meeting is scheduled to take place between 5 and 7 October. The Annual Meeting is co-organized by the Caribbean Agricultural Extension Pro...

ECHO Asia Agriculture & Community Development Conference 2019
Tue, 1 October 2019 » Fri, 4 October 2019

Holiday Garden Hotel and Resort and The ECHO Asia Impact Center Farm and Seed Bank, Thailand

"Small Scale: Up Scale" How can we help small scale farming initiatives thrive in Asia? We can provide low-cost, innovative options that allow people to grow both their crops and their knowledge, expand their operations, and scale up! Join us October 1-4 for 3-days of networking and opportunities to share ideas, technologies appropriate for small scale farmers, and lots of practical demonstrations at the new ECHO Asia Seed Bank & Small Farm Resource Center! In addition to mor...

ECHO Asia Seed Bank Managers Forum
Mon, 7 October 2019 » Wed, 9 October 2019

ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center and Seed Bank, Thailand

Konferans Agrikòl Sid, Haiti Agriculture Conference (South) 2019
Mon, 14 October 2019 » Fri, 18 October 2019

HRM Mission, Haiti

The Konferas Agrikol Sid (KAS) Committe was able to reschedule the conference for October 14-18, 2019.  It was originally planned for June, but due to the situation of civil unrest in Haiti, it had to be postponed. -- We invite you to participate in a conference that would help strengthen connections amongst those working in the agricultural sector in Haiti and spend time learning from one another. Hopefully, the conference will take place at at a later day in 2019 at HRM Mission in La ...

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