10,000: Grow your meal in a repurposed mattress

The World
Several young greent plants are shown growing out of foam in a row.

Plants in a hydroponic system grow in the foam of former mattresses at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

Courtesy of the University of Sheffield

From The World and PRX, this is The Number in the NewsToday’s number: 10,000.

Zaatari, a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, has quickly turned into a city of 80,000 people since opening in 2012. Water can be scarce and the desert soil is too poor to cultivate anything, making nutritious food a hard resource to come by. But scientists from the University of Sheffield in England have a solution. They're teaching refugees how to grow food by using old foam mattresses instead of soil. They have 10,000 mattresses on hand, and the UN Refugee Agency is training people how to use them. It’s working at the refugee camp, and it could be a solution used in cities around the world.

Hear from Syrian refugees who are using these unconventional gardens in a new episode of The Number in the News, a daily flash briefing for your smart speaker that we’re featuring as a special here in The World’s podcast feed. Listen to The Number in the News every morning to hear a shareable story in just two minutes. It’s one number you won’t forget, plus why it’s in the news today.

Click here to add The Number in the News to your smart speaker News Briefing on an Amazon or Google smart speaker. Produced by The World’s Bianca Hillier.

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