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The Windowfarms Project

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WIndowfarms Project I'm Britta Riley and this is where I live. Brooklyn, NY. Lots of cement, lots of people, lots of snow. Not a lot of farms. This is what I like to eat. Fresh food. Mostly vegetables. And this is where I get a lot of my food. I have no idea, where most of it comes from. But I do know, where some of my food comes from. In fact, it comes from a window in my apartment. This is my window farm. It's a vertical hydroponic garden made out of water bottles, tubing, an air pump and some hydroponic supplies. Most of this stuff I got out of the recycling bin at my apartment building and at my local hardware store. Not only do I know, where this food came from, I know exactly, what nutrients fed the plants, that I'm eating. And I grew the plants out from seed myself. The windowfarm works, because an air pump generates a little bubble at the bottom of a tube submerged in the nutrient rich water. The bubble carries a column of water on top of it. And it rises up through the tube and spurts out the top. Then the water dribbles back down through all of these bottles. I'm no longer the only windowfarmer. In fact, in the six months since I launched the windowfarms project with some friends here in NY, people are building windowfarms and growing their own food in the heart of cities all around the world. They've been downloading instructions, that are available for free on After they build their systems, they joined in a mass collaboration online. Together we all identify issues with the windowfarms systems, propose solutions and test techniques, for how to best grow different kinds of plants. Where as NASA is researching, how to grow vegetables on a space station, we're researching, how to grow food in the unlikely conditions of city windows. I call this process of ordinary people contributing small innovations to collectively solve enviromental problems R&D-I-Y or Research and develop it yourself. Through the insides of windowfarmers the designs keep evolving. Look at my first system. Wow! It was pretty janky But it kind of worked. Andy and Hugh improved stability and performance by screwing the bottles together and testing new pumps. Jackson suggested using the more efficient air pump technique. Ian soved the noise problem by making something like a gun silencer out of a vitamin bottle. Mikko added LED grow lights. And teams in Italy, Finland, Hongkong and Spain are translating the desings for their local materials and languages. With each improvement it's easier for the next person, who joins, to build a windowfarm. So now we have a multi-disclipinary team of hackers, foodies, teachers, gardeners all around the world collaborating online. Solved one of the biggest problems facing our enviroment: how to supply fresh, local food to people in cities.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 44 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 139
Posted by: mice on Mar 24, 2011

Cheap and easy way to grow food at your window.

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