Agripreneur turns waste plastic bottles into aerial vegetable farm

One agribusiness innovator has found a new way of recycling water plastic bottles to establish a vegetable garden in the air.

 Anthony Mutugi has grown 294 spinaches and kales on a 4m by 5m by 3m space. The 294 crops may require about 0.02 acres on a flat ground.

The Kiambu’s Juja area farmer has suspended six crops in the one-and-half-litre bottles with a wire string in a shed net wooden structure that creates greenhouse effects for quick growth.

Each of the bottles is lying horizontally with its bellies ‘scoped’ slightly to accommodate about three quarters of a kilo soil and the kale or spinach.

“My motivation was turning waste into useful resources. The speed of recycling plastic is far much overtaken by the production. That is why plastic has become a burden to live with. I decided to try and turn them, into a shamba,” Mutugi said.

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There are seven rows and seven columns with each having six bottled plants suspended downwards. The suspension wires link the first bottle to the sixth one close to the ground.

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Each of the crops is one and half feet away from the other and the space of one row to the other is about one and half feet.

The crops depend on irrigation. The excess water can drain via the uncapped opening of the bottle.

Wedding is done by hand in this aerial farm. Soil nutrients are not leeched since the bottle is non-porous. 

It is a perfect example for urban farmers, who do not have permanent residences. They can move with their crops any time by unhooking the strings and dissembling the wooden farm. 

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The water bottles can also be used for planting other vegetables like black night shade along house eaves.

The house is also lockable, therefore, chickens, goats, and other animals cannot access the vegetables.

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PHOTO: Anthony Mutugi, a Kiambu County agripreneur, working at his aerial bottle farming demo at Mkoma Show Ground, Mombasa County on September 2, 2016. The model makes use of waste bottles to generate income from vegetables. PHOTO BY LABAN ROBERT.