Using old mattress foam to grow plants

Residents of a refugee camp in Jordan are now learning to use old mattress foam instead of soil to grow plants.

    2020/02/14

NSFW    ZAATARI, JORDAN — Researchers from the University of Sheffield have found a way to use foam from abandoned mattresses to grow plants and vegetables for those living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

In a news release from the university, researcher Tony Ryan explained that the mattress foam supports the plant while water and nutrient solution are pumped into the foam to allow the plant to grow. This system is called hydroponic farming and involves plants that are supported artificially and do not use soil.

According to Jordanian law, refugees aren't allowed to grow plants in the ground or build permanent structures while living in these camps.

In order to allow large-scale farming, researchers built a plastic piping system and put it on a rack. The piping system has numerous openings in which recycling yogurt pots holding the mattress foam and plants are put inside. Nutrient solution is added and flows through to the plants, helping them to grow and produce crops.

This gives the refugees the opportunity to grow fresh vegetables which can be used for cooking their own meals, according to the researchers.
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