I can’t think of anyone who has cooler goals than this fellow, former flower exporter from the Netherlands Pieter Hoff. He and his wondrous invention the Waterboxx have set out to do nothing less than re-forest the dried out, abused, beaten down and over-exploited lands of this world. Mr. Hoff recently announced the formation of the Club iPlant to help him achieve this goal and invited all of us to join in. Here’s the video. I do hope he gives more details about this soon. In the meantime, here he is on Facebook. The Groasis site states, “In October 2010 Pieter Hoff started his first personal messages series. You know that his dream is to reforest the world. He wants to develop the tools to enable us to do this.”
I’m ready. Just give me a piece of miserable, desertified land and a Waterboxx and let me at ‘em. But maybe I’ll finish up my box of biochar first. I was very exited to see that Groasis had a project in Napa County in Northern California not far from where I’m from. Have a look here.
Groasis Waterboxx is a plastic box designed to help grow trees in dry areas. It won the overall Popular Science Green Tech Best of What’s New Innovation of the year award for 2010.
The Groasis Waterboxx is a polypropylene bucket with a lid. It has a vertical tunnel in the middle for two plants. A wick allows water from inside the box to trickle into the ground. As a biomimicry, it is modeled after bird poop. t works as a plant incubator, sheltering both a newly planted sapling and the ground around it from the heat of the sun, while providing water for the plant. The lid collects water from rain and nighttime condensation, which is then stored in the bucket. The water-filled Groasis releases small amounts (around 50ml per day) of water into the ground by a wick to water the tree and to encourage the tree to develop a root structure. The box acts as a shield for the water in the upper ground, and this water then spreads down and out instead of being drawn to the surface and evaporated. Both temperature and humidity beneath and inside the box are more stable night and day than without. The box has been tested for 3 years at the Oudja University in Morocco where nearly 90% of plants survived with the box compared to 10% without. Apart from projects in warm arid areas, the box is being tested in wineries and cold mountain regions.
As I stated I do hope to hear more about the Club iPlant and how all of us can help re-forest the world. I also would like to mention once more the idea of using biochar with the Waterboxx and seeing how that would go.