Window Farms: Getting the Hang of Urban Farming in Your Own Apartment

July 29, 2009 by

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Urban gardeners can join a new network of green-minded city dwellers experimenting in the creation of vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield, edible window gardens right in their own apartments.

Window Farms, the community-based, crowdsourced environmental design project of Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray, will be located in high-profile windows throughout the city, intended to inspire other New Yorkers to design and implement their own window farms. Signs in the window farms will challenge New Yorkers to create their own and direct them to a website where we can all share photos, plans, designs, and information. The first prototype gardens, built using inexpensive, low-impact or recycled local materials and installed at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, were loaded with 25 plants: tomatoes, lettuce, beans, cucumber, okra, basil, arugula and peppers. The project intends to derive viable and efficient methods for growing food under the local conditions of one’s own home.

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In February 2009, through a residency at Eyebeam, Riley and Bray began to build and test the first Window Farms prototype. “Growing food inside NY apartments is a challenge, but within reach, ” they say.  “The foundational knowledge base is emerging through working with agricultural, architectural and other specialists, collecting sensor data, and reinterpreting hydroponics research conducted by NASA scientists and marijuana farmers. We have been researching and developing hydroponic designs that are made from relatively inexpensive materials. The working prototype is a drip system made from recycled water bottles, holding 25 plants.  Beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula, basil, lettuce and kale are thriving.”

pioneers

While completing the first Prototype in mid-April, they invited a dozen “pioneers” to join them in creating Window Farms. “We asked them to approach the project like a night class, devoting one night a week for two months. We showed them our prototype and presented the DIY research and development we did so far and invited them to build on our research to create their own designs. Currently, the Pioneers are designing their systems. Their innovative ideas are adding to the knowledgebase about DIY hydroponics.”

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The initial group of window farmers is creating a variety of design and DIY innovations that will be shared with others.  How-to instructions will be released to the public in mid-July.

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If interested in building your own window farm, or in commissioning one for your apartment, office, or  storefront, contact Britta and Rebecca at windowfarmers@gmail.com

10 Comments »

  1. Dell Lounge Pingback said:

    […] Exterior The classic idea of a little garden at the windowsill has now evolved into the window farm. Using cheap, empty water bottles and a hydroponic drip system that connects them in a vertical […]

    — January 4, 2010 @ 11:00

  2. Food-Growing Hydroponic Christmas Trees | Urban Gardens | Unlimited Thinking For Limited Spaces Pingback said:

    […] in time for the holidays, the team behind the Windowfarms Project, has discovered that vertical hydroponic gardens make “mighty fine Christmas trees.” Their mission is to populate the windows of the […]

    — November 13, 2010 @ 14:20

  3. I don’t really want a high tech garden | Eat Seasonally Pingback said:

    […] of course, I was really intreaged when I discovered window farms designed to allow apartment dwellers to grow a little of their food. I have three, six foot tall, […]

    — December 4, 2010 @ 23:45

  4. Emmon said:

    OK, it’s a year after you posted this story, but it’s amazing to me! I love that they’re now showing how to DIY with used water bottles! Thanks for the article Robin! Your site rocks!

    — December 13, 2011 @ 08:57

  5. Green Creative Evening of Terrariums and Seed Balls at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] Riley of Windowfarms was there displaying their newest hanging plant systems. If, like many city dwellers, you want to […]

    — April 14, 2012 @ 11:29

  6. Self-Watering Indoor Hydroponic Vertical Garden System Doubles as Screen | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] by the Windowfarms in her former office, Brooklyn designer Danielle Trofe attended an urban farming conference which […]

    — May 16, 2012 @ 15:36

  7. Indoor Hydroponic Vertical Garden Screen | Pictures@News Pingback said:

    […] by the Windowfarms in her former office, Brooklyn designer Danielle Trofe attended an urban farming conference […]

    — January 3, 2014 @ 14:49

  8. Climbing Up: 10 Innovative Vertical Garden Ideas - Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] Turn Recycled Bottles Into Containers You can throw those recycled bottles into the recycling bin or you can turn them into your own wall garden. Simply cut out the side of […]

    — September 18, 2014 @ 20:54

  9. Edible Water Bottles Made From Biodegradable Algae Pingback said:

    […] After he read about the amount of waste plastic ending up in landfills and polluting our planet, Icelandic product design student Ari Jónsson’s felt an urgent need to develop a replacement for the common plastic water bottle. […]

    — July 27, 2016 @ 13:43

  10. Black Radical Self Care: Election Edition – Kinesis Pingback said:

    […] Need a little more life and color in your space? Add plants! You can start from seeds on your own or purchase starter plants from nearby florists, conservancies or even Home Depot. Try out your green thumb. No space is too small. […]

    — January 31, 2017 @ 11:31

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