Last week I shared with you all a method for growing food on your deck or porch when no other space is available. But what if you don’t have a patio? What if all you have is a window? While this may be my personal hell, many people thrive in large cities that have little in the way of green space open to its residents. (Personally, if I’m somewhere surrounded by skyscrapers instead of a monoculture of corn I start feeling itchy. WHY ARE ALL THESE BUILDINGS HERE?!)
Enter Window Farms. These ingenious little devices take traditional hydroponics and literally flip them on their ear. All you need is a sunny window you don’t mind having the view obscured from, a few hydroponic supplies, and a trip to a hardware store.
Essentially it’s a daisy chain of chambers (made from old plastic bottles or purchased new in a kit) that each house a plant grown in hydroponic medium. They’re all connected with some tubing that has fertilized water constantly dripping through it (via a tiny air pump).
The end result is something amazingly simple, yet incredibly effective. The only downside to this system is the difficulty in growing root crops (potatoes, carrots, etc.).
One of the best things about this system is that you don’t need an extra lighting source (depending on where you live and what you want to grow it may be better, but it’s in no way required) the fact that the sun is doing most of the heavy lifting is a huge bonus.
From my nerdy gardening research, this is one of the most effective ways to grow food in such a restricted space with minimal energy expended. One of the more interesting elements to this is also the community that’s sprung up around it. They’ve been sharing designs and their outcomes all over the world, they’ve even coined a new term: R&DIY (research and develop it yourself) They have a short video about it online that sums everything very nicely: Window Farm Project.
For those of you (and who am I kidding, ALL OF YOU want to do this now) you can get the newest R&DIY plans and other glorious information at http://www.windowfarms.org/.