“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
As the world’s fresh, potable water supplies reach critical levels, and as food prices continue to rise at record levels, everyone will be in dire straits, but especially diabetics.
It will not be just the financial push of having to find a way of paying these bills, but adding the costs of buying any diabetic medications and treatments that you require. Also, diabetics are famously thirsty, and pure water IS needed to flush YOUR system. Anything you can do to have access to enough clean, safe potable water and organic food is important to learn about.
That’s what I am doing with this series. This information is to encourage you to seek new solutions, literally.
I am continuing the discussion about SIPs. These are “sub-irrigated planters”. That is, they are planting containers, of food grade plastics (only) or recycled glass, which contain either potting soil and water reservoirs OR have “growth mediums” and nutrient solutions (a more official form of Hydroponics).
Last time, I shared how to make a small SIP from a 1 liter or 2 liter water bottle (recycle number on the bottom should only be #1 plastic i.e. PET or PETE).
This time, there will be photos of how another site suggests cutting used brown or green wine bottles (retrieved in quantity from restaurants, by prior arrangement) and then carefully and responsibly cut and smoothed into glass SIPs for seedlings and / or for a herb garden.
You can see those photos at: Making Glass Planters From Recycled Glass Wine Bottles.
In reading about this on the Internet, comments said that depending on the plants grown, you may need to reduce the length of the bottle neck or remove it completely, as the root mass must be able to move easily into the liquid below without being squashed or compacted by too small a space. The edge of the wider part of the bottle should be able to support the upper cut-off section.
In the glass SIPs which use soil, you will need a piece of landscape fabric or fiberglass screen to lay at the round opening to the neck. As the plants grow, their roots will go through the screen holes, so make sure that it is not too fine mesh.
Until the roots are long enough to reach the liquid on their own, knot the cotton string into the fiberglass screen and then dangle it into the liquid; this will act as a wick bringing moisture to the soil above.
If you use an official nutritive mix, then the protocol is different. First, the plant is not in soil; anchor it in rockwool cubes with a wick hanging into the solution or use one of the following with a wick hanging down into the liquid. Other anchors are: perlite, vermiculite, washed pea gravel, or one of a number of ceramic balls and beads.
The bottles’ lower sections need to be dark and opaque, in this process with real hydroponic food solution. So, cover the bottle bottoms with a strip of black plastic trash bag, cut to size. Make sure you hold onto the bottle well, as you move it; this strip will make it more slippery. It is necessary as light will stimulate the growth of algae in the nutritive solution.
You could also use matching-sized top section of clear PET #1 food-grade water bottles to have a a removable topper. This will be great for starting seedlings as it will make it’s own greenhouse. Be sure not to put this in a sunny window, without watching that the OPEN plastic bottle neck is able to remove enough heat before your plants “fry”. Otherwise, remove it to a bright, but not hot, area.
Using those food-grade PET / PETE bottles constructed the same way as described above for glass, means that you can have a lighter-weight, 1-2 year growing system.
This can even become part of a recycling effort in your community to make a community garden. This activism needs to start being put in place, not just in third world countries, but in the suburban yards and shared spaces of industrialized nations, too (even on fences across vacant lots).
This is a way to start using the plastics which otherwise end up in landfills (PET / PETE is the most-recycled plastic and people are still only recycling 25% of what is made!). This system, as long as it is not left in hot sun for long periods, helps feed anyone who walks by, if watering needs are addressed by the community. Many offices could recycle water bottles for this purpose.
Too much heat exposure even removes some hormone disruptors, like antimony and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, which are in PET. Glass is always safer than even “food-grade” plastic, period.
Don’t even consider the majority of other plastics, as they are usually not food-grade. Often PVC pipe contains lead. (Read my explanations in previous parts of the series.)
Gathering and recycling 1,500 PET / PETE water bottles lets you build your own real greenhouse. See the PDF plans at: Build Your Recycled Bottles 6x8x6 Foot Greenhouse.
Gather the bottles from your community and meet your neighbors to make more of these to benefit schools, senior centers, churches, food banks and individuals.
The goal is to ensure people have ready access to prolific amounts of low glycemic and alkaline vegetables in order to regain and maintain their health.
Diabetics and children especially need this healthy food as the basis of every meal (at least 70% vegetables on the plate, as salad or lightly steamed). This is also the best way to curb the plague of obesity … which is beginning to be called Globesity … and to prevent pre-diabetes.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics benefit from large amounts of fresh, low glycemic index, pH alkaline vegetables.
See the photos below as a permanent record of some of these projects, in case the original sites remove the articles.
Seriously include children and grandchildren in growing foods. These food skills are for survival and have nearly disappeared in two short generations!
This is fundamental and needed knowledge for every generation. Learn more: Help Kids Learn Gardening!. Don’t leave them at the mercy of Big Agriculture – those corporations rarely act responsibly for the land and their products are usually not grown organically or in harmony with Mother Earth.
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