So far, my posts have focused mainly on large scale Building-Integrated Agriculture (BIA) solutions but what about small scale home agriculture solutions?
Windowfarms is an organization that empowers you to be able to grow your own food at home. They provide you with the information and tools needed to build your own hydroponic BIA system in your window. This would allow you to participate in the growing process and reconnect with one of the oldest professions: farming.
Read all about it:
The Windowfarms Project operates in what seems a small niche, but the team hopes it might be what Buckminster Fuller would call a “trim tab,” a small part that turns giant ships by being particularly well placed. Growing some portion of one’s own food is a simple pleasure that can make a big difference in one’s relationship with nature. As we choose nutrients to feed plants we hope to eat in turn, we gain experience with a nearly-lost fundamental human art, get a microcosmic view of the food system, develop a stake in the conversation, and come up with new ideas for how to take care of ourselves and our planet in troubled times.
The ultimate aim of the Windowfarms project is not primarily to create a perfected physical object or product. Rather, the targeted result is for participants to have a rewarding experience with crowsdsourced innovation. The team is interested to learn from participants’ experience as they design for their own microenvironments, share ideas, rediscover the power of their own capacity to innovate, and witness themselves playing an active role in the green revolution.
Read more at Windowfarms
I like the concept of growing food at home but have found the reality to be quite messy. Windowfarms is really on its way to changing that with their ideas and systems constantly improving by providing and online community of “window farmers” who contribute to the research and development of the solution together. Very cool.
I think that we will continue to see such solutions and technologies developing as part of BIA. While Windowfarms are still pretty basic (recycled materials, do it yourself, etc.), they do open the way towards the intensification or agriculture within your home space. One can imagine that down the road, the option to integrate agriculture systems into window spaces, using some of the sophisticated methods developed by companies that have been featured on this blog already, will become a reality.
The cost of Windowfarms is low but they also do not provide that much food for the producer. Once an industrial designer develops a prefabricated hydroponic agriculture window, that is easy to harvest from, is pleasing to the eye, and not difficult to maintain, we will begin to see them installed into family homes and offices. Check out this concept window farm:
For now, Windowfarms provides a fairly simple at home solution if you are interested in producing some of your own food at home. I truly admire what they are doing and how far they have come. Certainly keep your eye on them for some great urban agriculture innovations down the road.
So, what do you think about integrating agriculture into windows?
Is this a trend that is likely to continue or do you think large scale urban farms is a more sensible solution?