Meet the Windowfarms Project

January 28, 2011

Here is more inspiring news about vertical gardening, this time for the window, thanks to the Windowfarms Project, committed to soil-free food growing and maximizing space in urban areas by using hydroponic gardens.

The dynamic tag line is plenty enough to fuel interest:

“Turn our cities’ windows into vertical vegetable farms.”

Britta Riley, founder of the Windowfarms Project has written about being influenced by her grandfather: “Before he died, my passionately environmental engineer/inventor grandpa talked to me about a challenge our generation would face: the complex systems his generation had set up turned out not to be as healthy for ourselves or the rest of the natural world and too few people comprehend or are involved in the decisions that operate them.”

Riley says she launched The Windowfarms Project as “a grassroots way to start to address a nexus in these issues – our food system.”

Her goal is to give people a way of participating in the “green revolution” by becoming window farmers. The company provides either kits or plans for growing nutritious veggies and herbs in the window.

She adds, “Us windowfarmers are ongoingly testing new techniques and sharing results online to make windowfarms continually more efficient, more productive, more nutritious, quieter, prettier, and more tasty.”

Of interest, the company began in 2009 prior to featuring the project on Kickstarter (see video) in an effort to raise $25,000 in capital from public supporters. On January 4, they were successful, raising $28,205 and turning the organization into a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

About the entity, Riley has aptly described it as follows: “The Windowfarms Project is an open mass collaboration of ordinary people working together to find solutions to one of the most challenging problems of our times: the urban fresh food supply. We give urban folks a unique opportunity to make all of the decisions that bring healthy food to their own plates by helping them grow their own veggies inside. We are finding the most efficient and doable ways to grow food in any apartment window and generating free online instructions. The collaboration began with the first prototype windowfarm built in a Brooklyn apartment in February 2009. Since then, we have created and tested 12 evolving models of vertical hydroponic vegetable gardens through meetings and a shared online collaborative R&D site. We are establishing an open source non-profit organizational structure that will give the project a financially sustainable future.”

Projects like these make posting stories like this very much “worth-the-while.”

Photo: Windowfarms



Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.