You do not need power tools and PVC to make these sub-irrigated planters (SIPs)
Do your friends a favor and pass the word.
Systems like the Valcent VertiCrop are the servers and mainframes of urban food production. Just as in the digital world, we also need distributed food production power brought to the people on a personal level.
Sub-irrigated (sub-aerated) planters (SIPs) like this one are the PCs and laptops of personal urban food production. You might also think of them as the iPads and iPhones of food.
There is no need to plug them into tillable earth. They are portable. All that is needed is a small space with sufficient sunlight, be it on a rooftop, balcony, driveway, paved patio or even a fire escape. They will produce more food per square foot than in-ground gardening while conserving water and valuable time. This is safe food production with no exposure to contaminated city soil.
Just as with early personal computers, you can build your own. This one is very easy to make, no power tools required. The only out-of-pocket cost was $9 for the box, purchased at local retail (a dollar store).
What we really need, however, is mass production and distribution. SIPs need to be affordable and readily available in local stores supported by visual merchandising. Obviously this would be easy to accomplish. This is very simple technology. All it will take is education and entrepreneurship in the private sector.
Personal SIPs like these would go a long way in helping us eliminate food deserts and help in the fight against obesity. Do yourself and all others a favor by trying these and then spreading the word. Just one SIP and you will be hooked!