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Kasungu Sustainable Agriculture & Natural Resource Management PrHere’s a clever idea from the industrious women of Gideon village in Malawi, who grow heaps of healthy greens right beside their front doors.

Grace Banda, a 28-year-old mother of four, keeps a line of burlap sack gardens planted with cabbage in front of her house. It saves her from trekking to her garden when she needs something green for cooking, and it could save you a trip to the grocery store.

To make your own container gardens using Banda's method, you’ll need a large burlap sack, gravel, a tin can with both ends cut out, potting soil and goat berries. If you’re plum out of goat manure, compost works fine, too.

Kasungu Sustainable Agriculture & Natural Resource Management PrStep 1: Put the can in the bottom of the sack and fill it with gravel. Pour equal parts soil and compost around it, up to the top of the can.

Step 2: Slide the can up to the surface of the dirt, refill it with rocks and fill the area around the can with the soil and compost mix.

Kasungu Sustainable Agriculture & Natural Resource Management Pr

Step 3: Repeat step 2 until the sack is full.

Step 4: Cut staggered openings about 6 inches long along the sides, and plant seeds in the holes.

Kasungu Sustainable Agriculture & Natural Resource Management PrThe cylinder of gravel inside the sack helps distribute and drain the water, ensuring that none of the plantings get too wet or too dry.

If you try your hand at sack gardening yourself, please send us a photo. Thanks!

Photos by Russell Powell

Author

Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey is a writer and editor for Heifer's World Ark magazine.