I’m gardening with my shower
Don’t think I want to stop
I’m bathing with my garden
And I’m watering my crop
Bathing with your fruits and vegetables may not sound like fun, but it can be very practical.
The water that drains from your shower will irrigate vegetables and tree seedlings.
You can even make a small market garden.
The shower garden is a particularly good system to use during the dry season when water is scarce.
And I should mention another advantage of the shower garden.
You avoid creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The water is channelled into your fruit and vegetable garden instead of collecting in pools behind the shower where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
The shower garden has worked well for Kpante Samuel.
Kpante is a young farmer who lives in a village in Togo, a country in Africa.
He grows tree seedlings in a garden beside his shower.
The water from the shower irrigates the trees.
Today, Kpante has two hectares of trees that grew from seedlings in his shower garden.
At least five other farmers in the village also produce tree seedlings using water from their showers.
It is not difficult to make a shower garden:
First you have the shower.
It is usually made out of bricks, hard-packed earth, branches or old sheets of metal.
Farmers who live where there is little rainfall or where the soil is sandy should make sure the floor of their shower is watertight.
Otherwise the water will soak into the ground instead of running into the garden.
A trench carries the water from the shower to the garden.
The trench can be about 20 centimetres across – about the size of your foot from heel to toe, or a bit smaller.
It should flow into the middle of your garden.
From the trench, you can dig another smaller channel that will carry the water to different parts of your garden.
So you see, building a shower garden is easy and economical.
And you don’t need to buy plastic nursery bags or watering cans, or spend time watering your garden.
Also, you don’t have to carry water a long distance to water your garden.
- This script idea was suggested by Ali Mawinesso, Jeune Chambre Economique de Bassar, Togo. It is based on the article “Growing tree seedlings with shower water,” by Tchapou Madjom, published in Baobab, Issue 27, December 1998, pp. 14-15. Arid Lands Information Network, PO Box 3, Dakar-Fann, Senegal. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org