Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Plan

So there are going to be a few problems planting stuff in the garden. We're already growing lots of lovely herbs and non-food plants, but mainly in pots and buckets. Otherwise there are the tall trees we planted when we moved in that surround the plot, and a few small trees in the middle. (I'll upload photos soon)

The reason there isn't much in the ground itself - not even grass - is because our bit doesn't get much sun. There are the trees of course, but even without them there'd be the buildings, which is why we've let the trees grow bera7ethom.

I'm going to tackle this in two ways: there's a small strip of sunny ground that I'm ploughing and will use to plant the heavier veg, and on the sunny wall next to it I'm going to hang a vertical hydroponic garden based on Patrick Blanc's but with locally available (and hopefully greener) materials, for tomatoes, beans, spinach, peas, and so on.

I'm going to compost the hell out of everything so it grows up big and strong. We've dug a drainage pit and have gotten the wood to make our bin, and since we separate our organic trash anyway it should be a piece of cake.

I'll have to water the vertical garden manually at first, which is fine because it's outdoors, but if I can figure out how to fit a fish tank in my house and hook it up I'd rather use a simple closed-loop aquaponic system, like the one used for the plantwall in this very helpful blog.
I have space in the balcony, but I can't leave a fish tank out in the sun in Egypt, can I? I mean I know you can get certain fish to get rid of the algae, but I'm more worried about the fish boiling to death.

To do:
- Plough (hoe? I'm using a faas فأس to turn it) that strip of earth
-Measure that sunny wall and design frame, find materials and make it.
-Build compost bin (should take a couple minutes with a hammer)
-Get seeds: spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, potatoes, molokheyya, lettuce, arugula, green beans, peas. We'd love to grow grapes as well, but we'll see.
-Make planting schedule
-Plant and go

I'll post detailed plans for the compost bin and vertical garden later, with photos of the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Fish have been farmed successfully on rooftops in Cairo. I've even seen a system installed at Hilton Borg El Arab, the fish tasted amazing! They were kept in a closed cycle with aubergine (a heavy nitrogen feeder) which grew enormously.