Description of Challengefood security, sustainable farming, urban food growing, water management
Using recycled materials, we can build a little farm on our window - a small-scale home-based hydroponic system. Saves space, energy and water, and suits an urban setting as well
Window Farms are a simple, do-it-at-home hydroponic growing systems. It is relatively small-scale, easy to assemble and using simple, accessible, recycled materials.
Window farms were developed by an American woman named Britta Reily, who also coined the term ‘R &D. I. Y’ which means Research and Development – Do It Yourself. The idea is to experiment together on an open source basis, in order to enhance the development of the Window Farms. You can hear more about the idea on Britta’s TED talk below.
Another innovative quality of the Window Farms is that they use air-pumps rather than water-pumps, which are usually used in hydroponic systems. Water pumps have a tendency to get blocked and make much more noise than air pumps, which are relatively quiet, and also use less electricity.
How does it work?
There are several flowerpots made out of plastic bottles, placed one above the other. Under the chain of pots we place a pool for the excess water. A thin hose (‘the air-elevator’) connects the reservoir pool to the top pot and drips water into it. The water drips down from the top pot, through the other pots and pack to the pool. To bring the water up to the top pot, air is pumped into the ‘air elevator’. The air that is flowing up, creates sub-pressure at the bottom of the hose, thus pumping the drops of water up.