Wicking Bed Vegetable Project

COUNTRY: CAMBODIA

In Cambodia, as with all in-country projects, OnePlate’s goal is to provide a plentiful, nutritious diet for children in great need, all year round. To nourish growing bodies and minds, maximise learning and bring happiness back to little lives, children need fresh vegetables, packed with energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals, every day.

Consistent, high-quality harvests are dependent on many factors, but extremes of climate, plant viruses and pests have a major impact. OnePlate’s innovative project to establish a shadehouse with a wicking bed has made an enormous difference to the quality and frequency of vegetable harvests for children living at a special village and school in Cambodia who otherwise would have no home and would be living on the streets begging for food just to survive. 

Wicking beds use water very efficiently – the plants have continual access to water in the reservoir below the bed and evaporation is reduced by a top layer of mulch. Plants grow quickly because they are not lacking in water or nutrients. 

A shade house was constructed to completely enclose the wicking beds, reducing stress on the plants from the intense dry season sun and shutting out insects that can spread disease and damage vegetables. 

A watering system was installed at the bottom of the beds and attached to a water tank, with a trellis along the length of each bed to encourage climbing vegetables. Vegetables requiring pollination are now pollinated by hand.

The result is a year-round, disease-free and high-quality harvest, that is improving the health, wellbeing and happiness of children in need, and demonstrating an efficient, sustainable new system of growing food.

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