Hydroponics is possible for apartment renters who don’t have a backyard. Turn your sunny windows into a micro-farm utilizing the hydroponic system created by WindowFarms.
Using only about $3.16 per year to run a 4-column unit, this is an economical way to grow your own produce. Fresh and organic produce can be yours, even for those who don’t have yard space.
In order to help urban dwellers grow food inside their apartment all year long, Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray developed Window Farms — vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials. Using a drip system made from recycled water bottles that held 25 plants, they were able to grow beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula, basil, lettuce and kale…
They’ve since written How-To manuals, downloadable from their website, with instructions on how to build your own system from scratch, and are working to produce fully prepped kits available for purchase. You can also commission a window farm, and let a core team of experts build it for you. (More info available on the website’s Services section.)
What is a Windowfarm?
The basic idea behind a window farm is using recycled materials, in this case plastic soda bottles, and creating a hydroponics system to grow edible plants.
A Windowfarm is a vertical, hydroponic growing system that allows for year-round growing in almost any window. It lets plants use natural window light, the climate control of your living space, and organic “liquid soil.”
In the hydroponic system, nutrient-spiked water is pumped up from a reservoir at the base of the system and trickles down from bottle to bottle, bathing the roots along the way. Water and nutrients that are not absorbed collect in the reservoir and will be pumped through again at the next interval.
Video: The WindowFarms Project
Image: WindowFarms Diagram
Conclusion: WindowFarms is Great
We think this is such a neat idea and it’s an open source community. That means it’s FREE! All thanks to Britta Riley, the creator of the Windowfarms Project. After reading “Why Bother?” in the New York Times’ Magazine she was inspired by Michael Pollan’s suggestion to grow some of your own food.
Today it’s an online community and open source collaboration from all over the planet. From Boston to Sweden to China, there are over 20,000 people involved in the community today.
Get started with your very own WindowFarm: