DIY Self-Watering Planter

ECHO has been teaching urban gardening techniques since the early 80's when Co-founder Dr. Martin Price visited Guatemala City and was inspired by the acres and acres of usable rooftop space being wasted.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Price set up the urban garden demonstrations that ECHO is well known for, including growing vegetables in discarded automobile tires. Some say that the most challenging part of growing gardens in containers is making sure that they receive adequate amounts of water at regular intervals. 

Self-watering planters exist in all shapes, sizes and price points. ECHO Asia's Patrick Trail shares his tips on building a self-watering container garden with easy-to-find or recycled materials.

Materials that you'll need: 5-gallon bucket with lid, a length of PVC, an old t-shirt or cloth, a drill, some screws, a zip tie, and a plastic cutting tool. 

Want to make this? Tell us in the comments! 

Happy gardening! 



In Love With Volunteering

Photo courtesy of Rachel and Jared Scoville

Photo courtesy of Rachel and Jared Scoville

What’s not to love about a honeymoon in Florida? Newlyweds have enjoyed lounging at the beach, touring Disney world...and now volunteering at ECHO! Just four days after their wedding on April 15th, Rachel and Jared Scoville dropped by ECHO for a day of volunteering and a tour.

When Jared went to school at Gordon College, he went on the school’s annual spring break trip to ECHO. He had the opportunity to become fully immersed in the experience of working there, including reinforcing the Global Classroom for hurricane protection, tending to the rabbits and working in the fields. Jared had so much fun, he started growing a Moringa tree in his dining room.

“I told everyone I knew about the Moringa tree just cause it was fun to talk about. Even to this day it's in our garden right now. I’ve gardened ever since.” Jared said.

When the Scoville started to plan their honeymoon, they thought Florida would be a good chance to go to the beach and visit ECHO.

Rachel had heard all about Jared’s fond memories from the farm, but didn’t quite know what to expect when she arrived. After taking a tour, she understood Jared’s excitement.

“It was truly an amazing experience. I was really blown away by ECHO and the impact they have around the world,” Rachel said.

Today, Rachel is working as a behavioral analyst in their town of Bristol, Connecticut. Jared is working toward his doctorate degree in physical therapy at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. In their free time the Scovilles tend to their 50x50 garden plot where their Moringa trees are growing.

If you are passionate about ECHO’s mission, sign up for a volunteer position on ECHO’s volunteer page.  

Meet the New ECHO Interns!

Introducing...the freshest faces at ECHO! Savannah and Imanuel (Feo) bring so many new ideas and opportunities to the farm. Learn more about their backgrounds, passions and goals, in this Q and A!

Q: What brought you to ECHO?

 Savannah: “I took a mission trip to Peru for a year between high school and college as a gap year and that’s when I decided God was calling me to missions work. So I came back and went to Liberty University. After a year I did a mission trip with NMSI to Zimbabwe. We did community development and appropriate technology. We came here to ECHO to get trained and that’s when I decided I wanted to do missions work with agricultural development and appropriate technology. And I’ve been pursuing that ever since.”

 Feo: “I never had a dream to become a farmer but my dad has a small organization working with farmers. Before I graduated from high school, my dad told me, ‘Maybe agriculture is a good fit for you because everyone has to eat eventually, so that’s probably a good start if you don’t have a dream.’ I never thought about becoming a missionary but I do know that every Christian has to share the Gospel and work with the poor and work with the community around them so it has been my goal to go back to my country and maybe start an agriculture business that is more focused on the community.”

 Q: What was the first thing you noticed about ECHO?

 Savannah: “I really like how they teach how to do things. They don’t lecture a whole lot. They just have you do it and teach as you’re going.”

 Feo: “It is very community based.”

Q: What is one thing you have learned since coming to ECHO?

 Savannah: “I learned to set up a biogas digester and all the important functions of it. That is a way of taking food scraps and manure and creating a place where bacteria can convert that into a gas that we can store and use for cooking fires.”

 Feo: “I learned that working on a farm that has more diversity is way more fun. Different plants have different needs and different kinds of fruits and stuff like that so it’s more fun.”

 Q: If you could have any pet, what would you pick?

 Savannah: “I really enjoyed keeping fish when I was younger. I kept an aquarium with tropical aquarium fish.”

 Feo: “I don’t really like dogs very much. I like puppies. I’d like to get puppies that never grow up.”

Q: Any favorite ECHO food so far?

 Savannah: “I had figs and lychees yesterday. Those were both pretty awesome.”

 Feo: “The peanut butter chaya was pretty good too.”

 Q: What change do you hope to see in the world?

 Savannah: “I’d like to see more resources available to people. Especially overseas. I think we have a lot of resources available to us in the U.S. Everything is in English. But overseas they don’t have it in their language or they don't have internet access or books.”

 Feo: “It would be nice if people could have an understanding of where their food comes from so people appreciate food.

ECHO’s internship is a paid, 14-month long program. ECHO is looking for college graduates interested in international community development and small-scale tropical agriculture or appropriate technologies. Click here for more information.