Table Hydroponique

Step 1: Mamadou and Nafi line the table with voile plastique

Step 1: Mamadou and Nafi line the table with voile plastique

Step 2: Mamadou makes holes in styrofoam using a piping hot metal pipe

Step 3: Fold mint cuttings in foam and squeeze into holes (styrofoam floating on water)

Step 4: Add nutrient solution to water and watch plants grow

Mini hydroponic table in a Jadida butter container

Subaqueous roots

The other day I met up with one of my counterparts, Mamadou Seck, and together, along with his daughter Nafi, we made a hydroponic table to propagate mint. A hydroponic table is simply a flat container of water with styrofoam floating on top of it. The styrofoam has holes in it the size of bottlecaps with seedlings in each hole held in place by small sponges. If you put a nutrient solution in the water, good roots form, and this is a way to start up delicate seedlings before you plant them in a permanent location.

This is part of my experiment with suspended containers. Without official work to do yet, I am just tinkering. I’m starting with mint because it’s small, easy, and people like to use it for tea. I want to plant the mint in used tomato cans & tie twine to them so that they can hang. Containers of plants suspended off of the ground would solve the problem of free-ranging animals eating them. If I can introduce this idea to women’s groups, they can make these with any type of plant and any size of container and sell them. I have no idea if it will catch on. It may be too labor-intensive and completely fall flat. But it’s fun to experiment.

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2 thoughts on “Table Hydroponique

  1. Hi Maya! I got a new computer in November (my old one had effectively died), and so I lost contact for a while with your blog (which I had set up as my home page.) I just got caught up, and will probably PRINT OUT and read all the back posts to Steve over dinner tonight. We’re following your experiences there with intense interest.

    One question: what did you mean by the line, “Without official work to do yet…” Are you awaiting some additional assignment?

    1. After my big in-service training in February I will have a much more directed sense of work. Right now my “job” is to learn Pulaar and do small projects. In March is when I truly hit the ground running (hopefully). It takes a long time to adjust and “integrate.” So glad you are still liking the blog! Keep reading, I’ll try to keep it updated.

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