Wishing for some homegrown greens but don't have any balcony or outdoor space to grow food in your apartment? Warren covered it before, but now you can actually order a kit and assemble your own windowfarm - a hybrid, hydroponic gardening system that's made out of recycled materials and hung vertically in your window. Created in 2009 by artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray for an artists' residency at NYC's Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, the project is an open-source collaborative effort that's been developing through communal R&D.I.Y; (research and do-it-yourself). The artists talk about the latest developments in this video:
According to the Windowfarms website, thanks to the efforts of the 13,000-strong windowfarming community, there have been a number of significant upgrades to the original design (now in version 3) including these features:
- easier to set up
- more elegant, but still do-able with recycled water bottles
- more plants for less electrical input (up to 32 plants on one air pump)
- modular, meaning you can have vegetative, fruiting, and flowering plants all in one system
- can allow up to 25 plants to grow simultaneously year-round
Though we're a little skeptical of the impact that large-scale vertical farms will actually have, small-scale, low-impact vertical gardens such as the windowfarm concept may be a more realistic proposition. And it's not just the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of some good ol' urban gardening dreamed up by a community of DIYers: the kits themselves are put together by disabled veterans and other physically & medically handicapped workers at Poughkeepsie NY's Mid-Hudson Workshop for the Disabled.
The windowfarm kits now being offered range from the Core kit ($39.95) which has only the basic, hardest-to-find parts and will take you 20 hours to assemble - to the Gourmet, which has all the parts and bottles and will take only an hour to assemble (but costing a whopping $749.95). But if you really want to take a crack at it yourself, Windowfarms.org has step-by-step illustrated instructions that will guide you through the process.
Windowfarms via Designboom
More on Vertical Gardening
Window Farms: Vertical Gardens Behind Urban Glass
Vertical Farms Aren't Going to Solve Our Food Problems
Vertical Farm + Fish Tank + Solar Power = Balanced Diet
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