If you have a window, some simple aquarium and hydroponic supplies, and a craving for fresh herbs and vegetables, you might want to join a craze that’s sweeping the world. Not only can you grow fresh produce for your table, but you’ll be recycling those ubiquitous 1.5 liter bottles in the process! So, go ahead – put your DIY green thumb to work and create your very own window farm!
Windowfarms.org has 4,000 registered users and is still ‘growing’. This collaborative, internet-based effort shares ideas, techniques, suggestions, results, problems and solutions between growers across the world. Window farmers from all over are using their ‘life hacker’ skills to grow cherry tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, herbs, and lots of salad greens.
According to professional gardener, Maya Nayak, “Buttercrunch lettuce grows great and lots of herbs. Anything leafy and green, essentially.” She went on to explain that root crops, like carrots and onions, aren’t suitable for window farms.
Recycling consumer goods is an important part of the window farms process. As Texas native and transplanted New Yorker, Britta Riley says, “We’re kind of showing that we can actually get really, really far using things that we already have available to us as consumers.”
Window farm supplies include those plastic bottles, some plastic tubing, an aquarium pump, the kind of air valve needles used to pump up basketballs, ceramic hydroponic pebbles, and the same kind of hanging system you’d use to hang artwork.
The simplest system involves a column of upside-down plastic bottles connected to one another. The aquarium pump sends the nutrient rich water to the top of each column. It then trickles down from one bottle to the next in line. The plant roots are anchored by the hydroponic pebbles inside the bottles while the plants grow through the holes in the sides.
Simple supplies, sunshine, a little electricity, some DIY and recycling skills, and you, too, can enjoy the delicious benefits of your own window farm. Contact us for more food for thought on living an eco-friendly lifestyle.