Ntalabany primary school is located in the Leparua Community Conservancy in northern Kenya. It works with the Lewa Schools programme.
The Conservation and Agriculture Club at Ntalabany wanted to practice Conservation Agriculture (see PACE Action Sheet 30), but met a number of constraints – the school compound is covered with sandy soil and rocks and there is a limited source of water. They had limited resources, and also most of the land around the school is open to grazing animals as it is not fenced.
They did some research, and with a little creativity adapted and combined elements of Conservation farming with vertical farming. “We came up with different ways of implementing vertical farming in our school with the aim of growing vegetables for the students to use. The location of the project on our compound was very important. A small area around the classrooms is fenced to keep out livestock and small wild animals. Our plan was to use the fenced area for our project.”
We improvised and decided to recycle old tires for our setup. The tires hold the soil together and create multiple layers of growing spaces. With the guidance of the conservation teacher and help from the conservation and agriculture club, we set up the tires in a proper location and filled them with a mixture of goat/sheep manure and soil fetched from a nearby river bed. We built five similar set-ups. K ales and spinach were transplanted from our nursery, but plants could be nursed in the vertical gardens. The club members are in charge of watering and maintenance, and harvesting.
Learn how to do your own vertical farming in PACE action sheet 87 – vertical farming using old tyres – written by the Education Team at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.