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When space is a premium, growing up is the only option. Vertical Veg (Pty) Ltd manufactures easy to install and ready to use pocket panels that only require a wall. Large enough to grow most herbs, vegetables and flowering pot plants these pockets have combined gardening with hanging around to create a brand new functional aesthetic.
GLAMPING AND ECO-LODGING
Vertical Veg was founded in 2013 when Marcelle Warner, who has a BSc Hons degree in Zoology and a Diploma in Natural Medicine, was approached by the prestigious Westin hotel in Cape Town to erect a vertical garden for them. She had to create a business to win the contract, and what it did was give her the chance to rethink the manner in which we grow our food.
While, it may have had its first start in the plush hotel industry, it is in the glamping and eco-lodge sector where Marcelle’s designs have really taken off. As these hospitality industries seek to deliver on their promises to bring guests closer to nature, the Vertical Veg pocket offers an option that does not require people to be down on their hands and knees to do the gardening.
“Not only does it provide the chance to get into growing your own vegetables and herbs conveniently,” says Marcelle, “But it also creates an engaging and inviting aesthetic to any wall. Especially in areas that are over developed.”
In the early days of the business Marcelle sold many of her pocket panels at various markets like the Saturday Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill to people who loved the idea of being able to grow their own food but did not have the space in the form of a garden to do so. Many pockets are now adorning balconies and kitchen walls, providing organic food and oxygenated air to their owners. To date the company has been represented at many Expos and Vertical Veg is sold online through many outlets.
MORE TO IT
Marcelle explains that she loves growing her own food, loves cooking, loves feeding people and believes everyone can benefit from growing their own fresh food. Not just for the nourishment but also for the sense of accomplishment gained from knowing you grew something delicious. Or beautiful for that matter, as the Vertical Veg pocket works just as well for flowering plants! But there is more to it.
“I believe that it will go a long way to aiding with sustainability of our present environment,” she says, “I endorse movements like Slow Food and am a great fan of organisations like Soil for Life. As a wife and mother of three wonderful women, I feel that small useful ideas can change the world and that everyone needs to look at what they are doing to help or hinder global food sustainability.”
WHAT GROWS BEST
The pocket system works best for leafy veg like spinach, chard, pak choi, tat soi, and most of the popular herbs such as thyme, marjoram, oregano, basils, rocket, chives etc… Marcelle has seen people grow cabbages, literally one per pocket!
Very tall and heavy herbs like lavender and rosemary require far more depth for their roots so are not really suitable. Also veg like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and very tall plants are not easy to grow in small pockets as the weight of their growth tends to pull them down. Dwarf varieties can be grown such as some chillies and trailing tomatoes.
“We do manufacture grow bags to accommodate taller veg such as tomatoes, beans, potatoes and brassicas,” she says, “And our product range has grown substantially since we started.”
At the moment, Marcelle reveals that they are launching a new addition to their range of Veggie Pots. There are two sizes a 5 litre and a 10 litre fabric plant ‘bag’ or pot and a new 20 litre pot. These ‘bags’ are useful additions to place below wall mounted panels to grow bigger plants in. They are of the same fabric which allows water to percolate through and drain away and allows the roots to breathe.
“The 20 litre pots have been specifically designed to accommodate large and top-heavy plants and to appeal to the new ‘grow-your-own cannabis market,” she adds.
A tiny single pocket costs R95.00,
A 4 pocket panel costs R255.00
The bigger pocketed panels go from R395.00 for 5 pocket panels to R650.00 for 15 pocket panels.
The bags go from R75.00 (5l), R115.00 (10l) to R185.00 for 20l
ADDRESS: 4 Montague Road, Bergvliet, Cape Town
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 082 720 5437