SIP: Sub Irrigated Planters

During our January, 2012 trip to Haiti, we used a plastic bottle planter project to create sub irrigated planters and demonstrate the concepts of repurposing, upcycling, composting, growing one’s own food, and the health benefits of vegetables.  Who knew so many important ideas could sprout out of a few plastic bottles fished out of the trash!

The project involved upcycling discarded plastic bottles into colorful sub-irrigated planters by cutting them in half, inverting the top half (the planter) into the bottom half (the water reservoir), and hanging them throughout OJFA.  Each girl helped plant her own “baby” and was charged with caring for it – a task made much easier by the sub-irrigation feature of the planter, which gives the plants a steady flow of moisture in place of required daily watering.

Fresh veggies are few and far between in the girls’ diet, and malnourishment is a continuing issue in Haiti, so we focused primarily on vegetables, including swiss chard, butter lettuce, two types of beets, pole beans, and peppers.  To underscore the importance of eating your veggies, we created a picture book for the girls which detailed the nutrients found in each plant, and explained how those nutrients would help them grow strong and beautiful.  Learn how to make your own HERE!