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Windowfarms By Urban Agriculturist Britta Riley
Britta Riley is the founder and CEO of Windowfarms, a Brooklyn-based company on the mission to help city population around the world grow their own fresh veggies. The company also runs a 40.000 member online community of growers.
It is obvious and self explaining what Windowfarms is, but it is not that intuitive when it comes to how it works in order to provide indoor food that grows all year long with the help of sunlight and your windows.
Windowfarms uses a hydroponic system where nutrient-spiked water is pumped up from a reservoir at the base of the system and trickles down from bottle to bottle, assuring the necessary nutrients to the plants along the way. Water and nutrients that are not absorbed, are collected in the reservoir and will be pumped through again. Plants grown in soil have roots that extend far and wide in order to get nutrients, but hydroponically grown plants have roots that are hairy and dense. What is the big difference? Well hydroponically grown plants will use their energy to grow fruits and leaves not roots as earth grown plants do. Because the roots are so compact, a hydroponic system is a much more efficient, making it perfect for an urban farmer.
If you are wondering what you can grow, Windowfarms recommends the following: kale, stevia, swiss chard, chamomile, cress, basil, dill, strawberries, sage, lettuce, peas and squash. Another interesting advice is to give the farm a name, talk to it, find out what kind of music makes it grow.
Sound’s great right? Well the prices for your own Windowfarm start from 199$ and can get to 399$. If you ask me, this is not cheap. Of course you can also purchase all sorts of plants, nutrients, seeds, accessories and system parts.
Is this worth it? I don’t think so as long as you can build this system for free. Is this a fun and stress releasing way to spend some money and time in your apartment? Definitely.
Is this sustainable evolution? We might not find the answer to this question for some time because of the fact that currently around 250 million starving people worldwide live in urban areas. Let’s not forget about the others in the rural area, lucky to have windows.
According to www.worldhunger.org, in 2010 a year after the launch of Windowfarm there were 925 million hungry people.
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