Thursday, September 23, 2021
For Esschert Design, sustainability was already the norm before it became a standard. Ever since 1989 we have wanted to introduce and involve people and children in nature. This way, not only this generation can enjoy the outdoors more, but also the many generations after us!
Sustainability as a core value
Sustainability is many things. We think about the life cycle of products, improving products, packaging and production processes, but we also produce articles that are sustainable by design. This is how the Olla contributes to a better environment!
What is the OllaLooking at ancient and well-known applications sometimes provides new insights. So we recently added the Olla ('ojja') to the 'Water in the Garden' collection. The ceramic, unglazed pot made of porous terracotta is to be buried in a central position among plants that need watering.
The Olla makes watering the garden easier, more efficient and more environmentally aware. The Olla can thus save as much as fifty to seventy per cent in water usage!
The advantages of the Olla for the environment:
- Reduces garden water usage by 70%!
- Ensures a better soil structure (and thus fertile soil)
- Prevents wastage and lack of water for plants
- Helps reduce weeds and snail damage
- Takes care of plants in a better way
Origin of the Olla
To get back to the origins, let's go back in time. The origin lies with the ancient Romans. At that time, the pot was already used for cooking and storing. Much later, the Spanish colonists took the technique of the Olla with them to West American. Here, the pot gained popularity because it was very useful in the desert climate. The latter raised our interest, because the application of it also makes the pot very suitable for gardening.
Even today, the Olla is still made completely by hand. Interesting fact: This takes place in Greece, where the Roman Empire ruled over what is now Greek territory between the 2nd century BC and the 4th century after Christ.
How the Olla works
The Olla is a porous pot made of terracotta. It is characterised by its narrow neck in combination with its thick belly. You dig this thick belly in between the flowers or plants. Then you fill it up with water (refill the pot about once or twice a week), close it with the cap and the Olla does the rest. The cap is important because it prevents evaporation, pollution and the eggs of nasty critters.
Because of the porous nature of terracotta, the irrigation of the soil actually happens automatically. The roots of the surrounding plants grow towards the pot and the Olla only releases water when necessary. Because the water is underground, it evaporates less and does not end up in unwanted places. This also ensures a looser soil structure. Unlike spraying or watering, which 'clogs up' the soil.
Tip: Bury an Olla next to a young bush. This will make it easier for it in its first year of life. In the European climate, the Olla is also ideal for vegetable gardens, square metre gardens and small greenhouses.
Due to the great success of the Olla, we will be adding a larger size of the Olla to our collection next spring and summer 2022.