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Schools go 'green' w/ new gardening system

June 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local school is taking a new approach to going "green." It's turned walls into outdoor classrooms and gardens. Many schools would love to have a garden but lack space and money, so inventor Miguel Nelson created a vertical garden set-up with hanging woolly pockets for plants to grow vertically just about anywhere.

"It's a soft sided gardening container that breathes," said Nelson. "We make them in the USA from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles."

The pockets known as Wallys, were originally designed for lush living walls, but now are designed as a packaged system that's perfect for schools that want outdoor gardening classroom.

"We see this really as an outdoor classroom, and it's really exciting because so much of our campus is covered in asphalt," said Susanna Furfari, Micheltorena Street School.

A school set-up comes complete with the pockets, seeds, manual and a curriculum. You get pretty much all you need except for a little sunshine, water and TLC.

The complete garden set up costs a $1,000, but since money is tight at most every school there's a donation program on their website that links schools up with donors so they can get growing.

"Donate what you can because every little bit helps," said Nelson.

Twenty gardens have been planted since Earth Day, their initial launch. The goal is to plant $1,000 gardens by fall and 11,000 gardens by fall 2010.

"The school garden program is an excellent way to start really young teaching gardening and nutrition," said Nelson. "Get kids into gardening at an early age so they can keep gardening for their whole life," said Nelson.


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