– [Man] Are you tired of having to pour all of your used
water right onto the ground? Not only does it leave the
workspace a muddy mess, it also has a long term
effect of soil erosion. It can be a detriment to
a plant’s roots system. Introducing the all new
Planter Bed Rain Garden. Now when you pour the water out, the hydrophilic plants can soak up a good portion of the spill. The remainder will slowly
trickle down through the advanced filtered technology until it returns to the soil. Here’s a simple step-by-step process for you to get started
on your own rain garden. One. Start with a durable container that can hold water for
long periods of time. Say, half a barrel. Make sure there are holes at the bottom for the water to go through. Two. Add a layer of pea gravel for the water to slowly trickle down. Three. Place a layer of filter fabric to let water pass, not soil. Four. Create a soil mixture of 60% sand, 30% compost, and 10% topsoil. Five. Transplant in
your rain garden plants. Native ones vary by location. But the ones here are
the Red Cardinal Flower and the Bushy Scenting Grass. Six. Lay out river
pebbles on top of the soil to push in any force from
water, and protect your plants. And voila, you’re done. Planter Bed Rain Garden can be yours today for the low price of 80.78! Vero fabric and plants
not included (mumbles). Click or call today! The noticeable portion
in the city of Dayton lives in what is referred
to as a Food Desert. Food Deserts are areas in which people do not have easy access
to fresh healthy foods. Approximately 27% of the
population of Montgomery County resides in the Food Desert, particularly on the Westside of the city. Besides location there are other barriers to an individual’s ability to buy and consume products such as cost. Fresh foods that are high in
nutrients tend to cost more than packaged foods high in fat and sugar. Impoverished households that
can only afford junk foods sustain themselves and have
suffering ill health effects in the long run from the
lack of proper nutrition. This leads to a bigger
issue of food insecurity, which people develop
unhealthy eating habits due to a lack of money and opportunities. 17.5% of Montgomery County
is considered food insecure, much larger than the
national statistic 12.9%. That’s where Homefull’s Urban
Agriculture Program comes in. Organizations such as Homefull
have dedicated plots of land to growing fruits and vegetables
right within the city. One of the places was
right across the street from a Family Dollar. I got to see a wide variety of produce get harvested throughout the summer: onions, green beans, tomatoes,
zucchini, kale, beets, potatoes, and much more. The produce grown gets sold directly to people in need at local markets such as Wright Stop Plaza and
2nd Street Market each week. Low income families are offered
aid and paid for groceries through the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. Now, how does this all return back to engineering for the common good and having an entrepreneurial mindset? Lets start with curiosity. Going into the summer without
any prior farming experience made the job intimidating at first. But I quickly got in
to the swing of things and ended up learning a lot
about basic horticulture as well as interesting tidbits
I never really thought of. For example, cucumber
plants grow little vines that wrap around anything close by. So a technique called
trellising takes advantage of this by hanging netting over the bed, which helps direct the cucumber
plant directly upwards. Connections. After I began getting comfortable
with the daily routine, came figuring out what I can improve on. I noticed a lot of half
barrels laying around and wondered what I could use them for. I thought okay, storing water. Next came the muddy situation. I figured there had to be a better way to direct the water somewhere. Then things started to fit in place. Nearly all the work done
on the farm was by hand. The food grown was all organic, without any artificial
pesticides or fertilizers. Even the chemicals used
for sanitizing equipment were simple, natural compounds. Perhaps this was a bit of
inspiration for my own basic, natural approach to collecting water. Creating value. At the end of some of my
shifts I would write down all the produce harvested
that day on the farm’s fridge so that the vendors knew what to expect. This was a good time to reflect on all the hard work accomplished that day and all the families I
am positively impacting with nutritious food. As for my design, while it may not significantly improve
the harvesting process, it still helps the work
environment to some capacity, which I will call a success in my book. Overall, this was a great
engineering experience for me. I felt rather out of my
league in the beginning, but once I settled in and
could thing on my own, then things started
coming naturally for me. I learned that engineering can be used at any moment at any place,
even on a small urban farm.