Growing vegetables in bottle towers to combat hunger and malnutrition (Willem VAN COTTHEM / Perrine COLLIN / Eric SECRETARIO)

Today, I discovered some photos of a bottle tower, set up during a seminar in Manila by my compatriot Perrine COLLIN of the CABIOKID Foundation.

Eric SECRETARIO announced the seminar a follows :

Urban Gardening 101 by S.O.A.P. (Spread Organic Agriculture in the Philippines) with Perrine Collin of CABIOKID Foundation. There are a lot of things to do and a lot of ways to have a vegetable garden in an urban dwelling. Recycle, reuse and do composting on biodegradable materials … a small space can be enough to have a garden … next project, our cemented rooftop … I have to gather recyclable materials (for portable compost bin) and containers … will make a pilot garden that will encourage our neighbors to do the same …

Perrine COLLIN said :

“Last saturday we had a one day seminar in Manila on Urban Gardening. The objective: No more excuses for not to start to produce your own veggies in the cities. Check this album you may interested by some of the technologies. I told the people to join the group to get inspiration”.



I feel really proud and happy that the bottle tower technique that I developed at home in Belgium (see “Building a bottle tower for container gardening” at is now already applied in The Philippines.  Thanks to Perrine !

Here are some of Eric SECRETARIO’s photos :

2011-11 : Belgian Perrine COLLIN (CABIOKID Foundation) - (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : Stacking bottles to make a tower for growing vegetables in a "vertical garden" - (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : Making 2 opposite drainage holes at the edge of the tapering part of the bottom bottle - (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : 5-7 bottles are used to make a bottle tower (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : A window-like slit is cut in the lower bottles of the tower (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : After filling the bottles with a potting mix (local dirt with manure), seedlings can be planted in the slits (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : Three bottles have been filled with potting mix (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 - The green top bottle is to fill the tower with water. It has its cap (lid) in which a small perforation allows water to drip slowly into the white bottle underneath (the funnel), through which water is running into the tower of 3 bottles (or more !) - (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : Seedlings planted in the "windows" (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : Perrine COLLIN and her demonstration bottle tower at the Manila seminar (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)
2011-11 : This simple, low-tech and cheap bottle tower technique is used for food production in small spaces, even on an urban balcony. It contributes to reduce pollution by recycling plastic bottles (Photo Eric SECRETARIO)

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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