My World in a Garden - Sister Walls

Feb 6, 2013

My World In A Garden - Sister Walls - Feb 2013

The Children of Bergnek, South Africa
The Children of Bergnek, South Africa

My Arms Wide Open, My World My Garden, Vancouver

Good News!! The next My World My Garden vertical vegetable garden wall is about to take shape.

In conjunction with the support and funding we have received from you, our wonderful donors, we also took the step to apply for a grant from the Vancouver Foundation up in Vancouver, British Columbia, to keep the project moving and 'growing'.

The good news is that in December 2012 we were awarded $10,000 towards building the Sister Wall to our My World In a Garden, Bergnek community vertical vegetable garden that we completed in October 2012 and talked about in our last report.

Planning Stages

Right now we are in the planning stages of the Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre vertical vegetable garden and will have the specific location on the Ray-Cam site selected by February 15th. We will then be finalizing the construction schedule working with the Ray-Cam staff, youth and their families and are looking forward to brining you our next update as we progress and the Vancouver Sister Wall is completed.

Let's keep our My World My Garden Sister Walls moving and GROWING

The funding we have to date has certainly allowed us to move forward, however we still need your support. Please pass the word around, get friends involved, and get involved directly if you choose to, as a volunteer and experience it for yourself.

Please forward this message and join our mailing list to stay updated.

'Maria' and her brother, who inspired us to act
First new growth in Bergnek
First new growth in Bergnek


Nov 7, 2012

My World In a Garden, Bergnek

My World In a Garden Bergnek - Almost there
My World In a Garden Bergnek - Almost there

My World In a Garden, Bergnek is built!

We have just returned from our trip to Bergnek, Limpopo in South Africa to build the first of a series of My World In a Garden vertical vegetable gardens. 

Thanks to each of you and your contributions, donations and support! This was a really fast turn around with only 9 days on the ground to get it all done. The GREAT news is, WE DID IT! We are attaching some pictures for you all to see and will also have a slide show available for you shortly.

Through huge rainstorms, a hailstorm with hail the size of silver dollars and power out for nearly three days, the community and our team worked tirelessly to get the garden done. The last 48 hours where sleepless and it was SO worth it.

Next Steps

On November 15th we are in Vancouver to complete a final interview for a grant to build the sister wall in Vancouver in March 2013.

The funding we potentially will get will certainly help and we still need your support. Please pass the word around, get friends involved, and get involved directly if you choose to, as a volunteer and experience it for yourself.

Please forward this message and join our mailing list to stay updated.

My World In a Garden Bergnek - All seeded
My World In a Garden Bergnek - All seeded
The Children of Bergnek who
The Children of Bergnek who'll benefit from it
Aug 10, 2012

First steps...

We have made good progress and although we haven't achieved everything we wanted in the time frame we had set for ourselves, we have made great progress and are now ready to get the first wall actually built and installed in the rural community of Bergnek in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

This October we will be travelling with our friends and partners from Arizona State University to build the first wall and make the SAFESipp PureRolls we have told you about previously. The exciting part about it all is that we will not only be able to transport CLEAN and SAFE water to the My World In A Garden Vertical Food Wall to water and nourish the plants, we are also turning the manufacture of the PureRoll's into a community based business for the Bergnek community. 

Why this is so important is that in doing this we are one step ahead when we build the My World In A Garden Vertical Food Wall's in other communities because the PureRoll water systems will already be available and in place.

This is an exciting and important project overall and we are grateful for all you have already done and for your continued support.

Please help us by forwarding this update to friends, family and people you believe could help using e-mail or social media. Every message and action helps the communities we serve with your support to create the future they want for themselves and their families.

Open your Heart - Be a Part of the Solution


May 21, 2012

Will you help us create a better tomorrow?

The children of Bergnek
The children of Bergnek

The "My World In A Garden" vertical food garden project is getting support from a whole host of areas; some of them quite unexpected and most welcome indeed. We still need your help though and from what you will see below, your support dollars are going further, thanks to innovation and support from organizations willing to donate their time and materials. You will see and update to the project page reflecting how money is spent soon as we update the project cost.

As we have put the word out to supporters and worked with the student community at Arizona State University we have received offers of help to support building the walls. We have architects offer and agree to produce the architectural drawings we need, construction companies offer to pour the foundations and others offer to weld the frames for us. Support has come from organizations locally in the US and Canada as well as South Africa and will dramatically reduce the cost of the walls, especially in North American cities, like Phoenix and Vancouver. The wall in Bergnek will be ‘sistered’ with a wall in Phoenix and as you know the wall in Vancouver will be ‘sistered’ with the wall in Cradock.

At our Annual Board meeting in April we added two new members to the board who have been instrumental in garnering new support. We still need more and that's where you come in. 

We need your support in putting the word out on Social Media for My Arms Wide Open to gain a broader audience for the initiatives. Here's what we are asking you to do: Please go to our Facebook page and "Like" us and forward the page to your friends telling them why you think this is an important project. You can also visit our Twitter profile and follow @MyArmsWideOpen and re-tweet the links we post about the projects. We have provide the links for each of these below.

With gratitude and thanks,


Brother and Sister in Bergnek
Brother and Sister in Bergnek


Feb 23, 2012

Progress is Trickling Down for Vertical Food Wall Project

More Innovation from ASU EPICS Gold

In our previuos report we published an update on the My World My Garden Sister Walls, where we are now in fact building three identical food walls providing fruits and vegetables to the town of Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa, at our project working with the Ray-Cam Community Centre that will be located in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the third in Bergnek, Limpopo, South Africa.



 In our previous post we talked about the importance of having a solution to purify and transport water to the vertical food wall, making it viable and sustainable. Now that we have found a solution, which is being provided by the EPICS Gold Project team, Drops for Africa, the next issue that we need to tackle, is the actual watering of the plants and controlling pests in the vertical food wall.

The students at Ira F. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University in the EPICS(Engineering Projects In Community Service) Gold program have once again stepped up to the challenge. The second team is made up of Eric Sprute, Mindy Kim, and Zachary Tomasch, who are the members of team V.E.R.T. (Vertical Environment Research Team).

The opportunities?

The watering system needs to be able to withstand weather variations ranging from -10 to 50 Celsius, have longevity and not have to be replaced in a few years, as well as being a system that will be easy to use and duplicate with parts readily available in South Africa.

Another aspect of the project is to research, study and determine methods in which we can maximize food production taking onto account local insect challenges. This will allow for excess food produced to be sold, creating another business to benefit the community.

Working to create solutions


The V.E.R.T. team has taken on the challenge of creating a watering system to move water from the Drops for Africa PureRoll™ units of EPICS GOLD Team SAFEsipp, to water each of the plants, and ensure the sustainability of the food wall.

The team is focusing on our original goal of using the food wall to create additional business opportunities to support the community.

In addition to their core work, the V.E.R.T. team is also studying food production as we noted above, to create a business opportunity. A large part of the teams research to date has included establishing which manufactures in South Africa they can source materials from needed to build the watering system, creating a real opportunity to reduce overall costs and in turn create an additional entrepreneurial opportunity for local residents to manufacture low cost and highly effective watering systems.

The V.E.R.T. team has spent time understanding what materials can be used, what their costs are as well selecting materials that will stand the test of time endure the weather variances and provide the right level of support as far as their strength goes. We are very excited and looking forward to seeing their full solution, in the near future.

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My Arms Wide Open

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Project Leader

Warren Te Brugge

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

Where is this project located?

Map of My World in a Garden - Sister Walls