A movement is growing in crowded cities and apartments without yards, taking the form of hydroponic bottles that cause all forms of vegetables to spread their leaves across open windows.
Windowfarms was started in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York, 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 DIY project, but recently grew into an already built and stylish setup.
Shivani Ganguly said she found out about the concept through Britta Riley, one of the founders of Windowfarms. 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 mo
re 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 more creative with their setups. Some line storefronts with the hanging crops, some use them as decoration, others just like having a fresh salad here and there.
Ganguly is now one of the main members of the Windowfarms team, and helped run a highly-successful project through 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 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 like wheat and corn.
Ganguly said they heard from one person “who has a hydroponic room and is growing enough vegetables for a family with more to spare.”
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(Images courtesy of Windowfarms)