In 2009 Warren introduced us to Windowfarms, writing that they "take the vertical farming notion and make it both real, and more human scale." They are "a vertical, hydroponic garden for growing food in your windows." It became a phenomenon, an open source community of 25,080 windowfarmers around the world. Downloadable plans were provided so that handy types could build their own hydroponic farms out of PET bottles and aquarium pumps. It is a wonderful idea:
Windowfarms take advantage of the natural light and climate of homes to grow fresh vegetables hydroponically, bathing the plants’ roots in nutrients from the sea, rather than in a traditional soil filled container. By bringing edible gardens into living rooms and kitchens, consumers learn about where their food comes from while eating the freshest produce available.
But not all of us are handy with tools, have the time to put it together or want a bunch of DIY duct-tape covered water bottles hanging in our windows. So CEO and co-inventor Britta Riley has developed a windowfarm for the rest of us, designed to look good in your window, made from environmentally friendly materials that just snap together, so that it can be assembled in under ten minutes, which works even with my attention span. Britta writes in the presser:
We are excited to offer this simplified and lower cost option. We believe in the power of our community to change the way that people grow and eat food, and hope that this redesign will enable thousands of new windowfarmers throughout the world to join our movement.
They have a Kickstarter fundraiser going, to collect enough orders to start local American production; they are over three quarters toward their goal of $ 200,000. A single column planter is $99; unfortunately they will not be ready for this holiday season but they will "send a personalized welcome-to-the community card to your loved one before December 24." A great idea at Windowfarms and on Kickstarter.
Research & Develop It Yourself. We use this site to collaborate on evolving designs for these vertical hydroponic systems– proposing experiments, testing techniques, and developing a shared knowledge base around the many variables involved in building and maintaining a farm inside a city apartment.