December 16, 2010 weblog
Windowfarms unveils new garden kits that grow up to 32 plants per window
(PhysOrg.com) -- Whether it's the cold weather or a lack of outdoor space that prevents you from growing a vegetable garden, if you have a window, you can grow a garden by using a Windowfarm. Windowfarms, which are gardens that hang on the inside of windows, can grow dozens of plants per window. Recently, the Windowfarms project has unveiled two new garden kits for home use, in addition to the educational kits they already sell.
In a Windowfarm, plants hang in vertical columns, with each plant growing inside its own 1.5-liter recycled plastic bottle filled with soil. Large plants can be grown in small containers due to the use of the hydroponic system. The system involves a tub of water elevated above the garden that drips water through the vertical columns into each plant. A basin at the bottom catches water that is not absorbed by the plants, and a pump cycles the water back to the top of the system. The water also contains a nutrient solution.
Windowfarms can grow a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, swiss chard, lettuce, kale, strawberries, marigolds, squash, sugar peas, and more, according to its website. Sometimes, if there is not enough sunlight coming in, a full-spectrum CFL bulb can provide additional lighting.
The Windowfarms project originally started as a web-based social collaboration experiment, in which more than 15,000 citizen scientists shared ideas and discussed urban agriculture. Windowfarm inventor Britta Riley explains that the project is based on an R&DIY (Research and Develop-It-Yourself) model, and has successfully demonstrated the possibility of growing food in urban environments.
Windowfarms range in price, starting from $140 for 16-plant home kits, $240 for 32-plant home kits, and up to $1260 for 60-plant educational kits. The project also provides free instructions on how to build the kits.
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