You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Turn our cities' windows into vertical veggie farms!

Jan 02, 2012

Check this out by the Windowfarms Project in New York. by Britta Riley Before he died, my passionately environmental engineer/inventor grandpa talked to me about a challenge our generation would face: the complex systems his generation had set up turned out not to be as healthy for ourselves or the rest of the natural world and too few people comprehend or are involved in the decisions that operate them. I started The Windowfarms Project as a grassroots way to start to address a nexus in these issues-- our food system-- and to give ordinary people a way of participating in the "green revolution." Over the last year, through an organized online collaboration of regular folks, we "windowfarmers" have designed a system for growing nutritious veggies in the windows of homes in a way that looks like an elegant garden/fountain. We have given away the plans and shown anyone how to make them out of cheap, easily accessible and recycled materials. Us windowfarmers are ongoingly testing new techniques and sharing results online to make windowfarms continually more efficient, more productive, more nutritious, quieter, prettier, and more tasty. The project has been exceedingly popular (worldwide, even!)-- so much so that it has grown past my capacity to manage it and financially support the work to be done alone. It needs to become an organization and have its own patrons until the grants we have applied for (surely!) roll in late next year. If that doesn't happen, I'm going to need to put it to bed and move on. I'm giving it one last bit of my all and attempting to turn it into a nonprofit dedicated to the open research and development of windowfarms for our homes! The idea is to make it my job to run the org, the site, the R&D process, and training sessions/curricula so other people can take over. I need to bring on someone like Maya Nayak (Chief of Operations) full time to share the workload. We have applied for 501(c)(3) status, have a 3 member Board and have given ourselves until Jan 4 at 2 pm to raise $25k in a public support test. Will you contribute to our public support test and also forward this to everyone you know? Here are some short videos of the project if you'd like a little more background. The Windowfarms Project operates in what seems a small niche, but I hope 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 of our own food is a simple pleasure that can make a big difference in our 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. Let's make this experience possible for anyone! The second best way you can help is to SPREAD THE WORD! Who else do you know who would love this project? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Thanks also to Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in NYC for the residency that incubated this project in its infancy!! - Britta Riley

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