Windowfarms Brings Home-Grown Gardens to Big Cities3 November, 2012 at 07:56 | Posted in Environmental issues, Society, sustainable development | Leave a comment
Tags: environmental issues, Society, sustainable development
A movement is growing in crowded cities and apartments without yards, taking the form of hydroponic bottles that cause all forms of vegetable gardens to spread their leaves across open windows.
Windowfarms was started in 2009 in Brooklyn, opening the 22,000-strong windowfarm movement to the world. The systems, which can grow vegetables indoors even in the dead of winter, started as a do-it-yourself project, but recently grew into a pre-built and stylish setup.
Shivani Ganguly of Windowfarms said she found out about the concept through Britta Riley, one of the company’s founders. The two talked about it for five hours in a friend’s kitchen.
“I was particularly interested because Windowfarms is at the intersection of many of my interests—urban agriculture, making cities more livable, sustainable manufacturing, and online communities,” Ganguly said via e-mail.
“I had also previously tried to grow cherry tomatoes, herbs, and lettuces in containers on my fire escape, so I knew some of the problems with that method, but also how great it is to grow food in your own home,” she said.
Most people build their own from old water bottles, wires, tubes, and a water pump, but more experienced windowfarmers tend to be more creative with their setups. Some line storefronts with the hanging crops, some use them as decoration, others just like having a fresh salad readily available in a kitchen window.
Ganguly is now one of the main members of the Windowfarms team, and helped run a highly successful project through fundraising website Kickstarter, surpassing their goal five-fold. They built stylish systems that don’t require the DIY technical touch.
Windowfarms use soil-free systems by leveraging natural light and the climate in homes. The hydroponic farms have containers stacked one above the other, and give plants their nutrients through water. People can grow just about anything, with the exception of root vegetables and cereal crops such as wheat and corn.
Related Articles: Bronx and Manhattan Land Trusts Gain 32 Community Gardens