IPOWER Alliance is an NGO located northern Taiwan, in Laomei. One of their objectives is educational support for children by providing an outlet and space to put into application what they are learning in school.
As it is a semi-rural environment, learning about horticulture and landscaping are key elements for the prosperity of Laomei's community.
Our first project was in a greenhouse at Laomei's elementary school. With the help of volunteers from all over Taiwan, we set up a series of planters made with local material such as stones from the beach, reused wood from the school, and tiles. In each planter, we restored the soil by layering locally found materials containing nitrogen and carbon (dead leaves, cut grass) or given away by farmers working near the greenhouse (hay, manure). The planters were set up at specific locations inside the greenhouse to minimize the use of water and for protection from extreme wind and sun.
By the end of the installation, the school children were able to get involved setting up central planters made of reused bamboo baskets, and finally we were able to pass on the maintenance of the greenhouse to the school and the children.