Mobile Garden Cart and composting system

Mobile Garden Cart and composting system

Senegal
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Mobile Garden Carts are designed to provide a sustainable gardening/composting/watering system for resource-poor individuals, families, and communities in urban (and rural) settings. Depending upon the needs of the community, Mobile Garden Carts can be constructed entirely or partially from reclaimed/recycled materials, in any appropriate dimension/capacity to support container and/or hydroponic gardening both on the base platform and suspended from the raised framework, and to support, as appropriate, a composting container-system on a sub-platform base. Based on concepts of sustainability, food/water security, and, when possible, micro-enterprise income, the Mobile Garden Carts can provide needed nutrition through fresh vegetables, herbs, and pollinator-friendly flowers or small trees.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Mobile Garden Carts can benefit the urban and/or rural environment, decrease heat-bloom, improve air quality, support pollinating insect and bird populations, offer nutrition and possible income to landless, impoverished, and other indigenous/community peoples. Ownership of the productive MGCarts positively impact work/life balance, citizen inclusion and tolerance, all age, ability, cultural and income groups, and can utilize local materials, celebrate indigenous culture, be constructed to work in any existing infrastructure, with a proven (if very small, and localized to the areas where I have lived) success record in many climates and urban/rural landscapes around the world. MGCarts can support fresh-water hydroponic gardening systems, or use grey-water container systems in arid zones.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Mobile Garden Carts address the needs of resource-poor and landless peoples, providing a movable space to grow container-sized plants to augment diet and income. The carts can be manufactured wholly from reclaimed materials, as I and community people did outside Dakar, Senegal, or from reclaimed and new materials, as I did in Fukuoka, Japan and elsewhere. If a manufacturer partners with the project to market the carts, which can be up-scaled to fit into modern urban life-scapes, roof-top, balcony and sidewalk gardens (still compact enough to move indoors during storms or cold months), then the MGCarts could offer buy-one-donate-one price scales, so that vulnerable and impoverished populations can receive newly-constructed, durable Mobile Garden Carts themselves. Accessible to all age and ability groups, inclusive of homeless, landless poor, as well as affluent residents, MGCarts offer an opportunity to learn agricultural skills and composting, provide nutrition and possible income through sales of produce/flowers/herbs, urban renewal/beautification (and opportunities for seasonal harvest parades/festivals), utilization of indigenous materials and plants, celebration of the innate artistry of each gardener, mentoring/outreach/training opportunities for participants, additiona construction (of the carts and containers), soil and seed-sale micro-enterprising opportunities, and ownership of a "bit of land" that can travel wherever the gardener goes, to find a place in the sun, and provide for the well-being of individuals, families, and, by extension, the community as a whole.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Within the small spheres of communities where I have lived and volunteered, in Senegal, in Japan, and elsewhere, and as planned with colleagues/social innovators with whom I work on-line (in Spain, Lebanon, Mexico, for example), Mobile Garden Carts have provided recreation, food, water management and land-access options for peoples of all strata of society. The MGCarts can be weather/insect/storm-proofed with the addition of roll-down acrylic or other covers (or netting/screening in hot/insect prevalent zones), are extremely portable, universally accessible, and easy to use in almost any setting. Additionally, solar panels, use of dark colors, and/or mirrors can maximize heat/light as needed (and possibly provide solar/valent energy for grow lights if sponsor/providers assist)to lengthen productive season in challenging climates. MGCarts are being considered for a "homeless inclusion" project, possible urban beautification and community involvement/art zone in Spain, and can be modified to create clean-water play zones if constructed as mobile, floorless frames, with sprinkle-watering systems, and moved about to water public park areas. If success is measured by the ability to enrich the lives of people cultivating, seeing, and enjoying the benefits (selling/eating of produce, etc) of the Mobile Garden Carts, as well as the potential for reclamation of used materials or buy-one-donate-one construction financing arrangements, then I think the project is and can continue to be highly successful.
About You
Organization:
Mobile Garden Carts
About You
First Name

Michele

Last Name

Baron

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Mobile Garden Carts

Organization Phone

in development

Organization Address

potentially global

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

In 2001, I created Mobile Garden Carts for impoverished and refugee peoples living near me in the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal. In the arid environment of the near-desert, local peoples and I worked to reclaim scrap materials, and construct wheeled carts with raised wood-or-pipe frames. Recycled cloth and woven plastic-strip bags served as containers, which hung on the single-or-multi-level framework, or stood on the platform. Garden trimmings and other reclaimed compost organics were "processed" in a contiguous, lower platform, generally enclosed by sliding wood sides.
Informal learning sessions in soil-building, water conservation, gardening, and materials-recycling were included, enabling us to combine indigenous and associated knowledge to best benefit the gardening projects, and maximize the use of native materials, plants, climate cycles, and artistry (through the arrangement of plants, and decorations of the carts). Individuals wholly-owned the carts upon completion, and some of the carts were also equipped with container-and-pipe systems for storing/transporting valuable water (many individuals had to carry both their drinking water, and any grey-water supplies they could obtain for themselves and their gardens). Subsequently, MGCarts have found use in urban and more rural settings, useful for elderly, children, and differently-abled people who cannot move easily in a traditional garden setting, and for urban dwellers where impermeable surfaces and lack of enough hours of daily sun had previously precluded gardening (MGCarts can move to follow the available sun).

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

101 - 1,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The ability to construct and deliver the carts to a wide distribution field. I will try to find appropriate sponsors, business partners, sources of recycled materials (as appropriate), soil, locally-appropriate plants, et cetera, to enable the greatest possible number of people to benefit from the Mobile Garden Carts.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

I hope to achieve large-scale awareness, distribution and use of the Mobile Garden Carts, with appropriate community driven financing arrangements, mentoring, training or assistance, so that people can succeed in providing food, and possible income for themselves and their families, and enrichment, beauty and environmental sustainability to their surroundings. Where possible, online/internet gardening support, possible mentoring and gaming/educational platforms, and community/inter-community festivals/agricultural contests might be organized, as well.

Sustainability
For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

Most of the carts have been constructed from recycled materials, soil built or improved through composting systems which utilize available organic scrap/trimmings from neighborhood sources, recaptured grey water or other stored water resources, and seed, root or graft stocks from donated sources, so projects have been low-cost or sweat-equity so far... and are wholly owned by the participants once constructed and cultivated.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

In order to distribute Mobile Garden Carts on a large scale, or train individuals and communities in constructing from recycled materials, sponsorship from appropriate businesses, Foundations and NGOs, as well as zoning/other permissions from local/regional governments (as necessary) will be needed. Building a customer base for produce sales can improve
opportunities for micro-enterprise, and buy-one-donate-one manufacturing and sales can enable far more widescale distribution of Mobile Garden Carts built with durable, light-weight, and weather proof materials with built-in water storage/hydration and composting systems, instead of (or in addition to) carts constructed from recycled materials.

Collaboration
Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Financing, Design, Labor, Property rights, Sanitation, Water, Infrastructure, Energy conservation, Green housing, Environment, Income generation, Urban development, Rural development, Citizen/community participation.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

Mobile Garden Carts can be available to all, inclusive of all, and built/purchased through buy-one-donate-one plans, or at low/no cost through collection and utilization of recycled/reclaimed materials, from carts, to containers, soil, and hydration systems. Purchase or donation of container-sized fruit trees, sustainable/xeriscaped plant and seed stocks can be through donation, sponsorship, financing, or through community-developed seed/plant banks, which would create sustainable, bio-diverse ecosystems for each participating community, while overcoming barriers of land access and ownership. Any ownership rules/taxes for Mobile Garden Carts would have to be appropriate to each region, but perhaps, through assistance of regional authorities, NGOs or other appropriate group, exceptions could be made to enable landless, indigent, and vulnerable populations to maintain and cultivate their Mobile Garden Carts at low or no cost.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

not yet; I am corresponding with colleagues/innovators online to see if Mobile Garden Carts can be introduced to their nations/regions/communities as the project develops, in Mexico, Spain, Lebanon, Egypt, and elsewhere.

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)
Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

randomness