Every home owner or aspiring culinary artist dreams of having their own garden where they can grow and source the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs for their gourmet creations.
Condé Nast House & Garden caught up with Deborah Weissenberg of Rebel Earth who spoke to us about their EarthPod. The EarthPod is a self-contained, protected, nutrient-rich miniature farm that is innovative, sustainable and reduces water wastage.
Weissenberg said that they came up with the idea for the EarthPod because they wanted to have a mostly off the grid food supply and liked the idea of having very fresh food because they love cooking.
They are currently growing incredible, fresh produce in their EarthPod that includes spinach, kale, basil, chamomile, aubergines, tomatoes and chillies
‘Because we live in a small house in Cape Town, we had to find a way of growing food that would make use of small, urban spaces. We also had to overcome poor soil; drought; and extremes of wet, dry and windy weather.’
‘We tried modifying the existing garden, but found this was a never-ending task, because the poor soil leaches away nutrients very quickly, and the South-Easter is unforgiving for four months of the year.’
The EarthPod is an evolution of wicking beds and square-foot gardening. It has a closed hoop tunnel made of agricultural shade-cloth to protect the plants from predators and the weather, and a sealed base to keep in the water and nutrients. The Japanese Cedar EarthPod has the added bonus of being naturally rot resistant and insect repellent, and cedar wood smells amazing.
‘Its scale is carefully thought-out: the height means you don’t have to grovel around in the mud to grow your crops. The surface area is small enough to look after easily, but large enough to generate a meaningful amount of food.’
Weissenberg recommends that you plant a mixture of plants, because that makes the system less attractive for pests and also gives you a varied diet.
‘Some plants work better together than others – for example strawberries and blueberries like a more acidic soil than do salad crops. You can install more than one EarthPod to deal with that and to give you more food.’
Check out www.rebelearth.co.za for more information
Images: Rebel Earth