Girl Planting seeds

Feed the world with foam! Old and discarded mattresses are being used to replace soil and grow vegetables for refugees in desert environments

A team of experts in hydroponics from the University of Sheffield have been working with refugees in Jordan to create 'desert gardens' using foam from mattresses. At the Zaatari refugee camp the research team, led by Professor Tony Ryan, have worked with residents to grow peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and mint. The mattress foam is used to hold the roots of a plant in place as it grows in in a nutrient rich water solution. Seeds are placed in the foam and they grow through it. Professor Ryan says the technique could be used to create self-sustaining gardens around the world and help millions to thrive in barren landscapes. Read more....



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