You don’t need a plot of land for growing your own food. Heck, you don’t even need soil, according to Windowfarms Projects, a Brooklyn-based startup that hopes to receive enough funding on Kickstarter to manufacture easy-to-assemble kits for growing vertical hydroponic gardens. Previous versions of the system are made from recycled bottles and require a full day (and some MacGyver skills) to put together. The new model is an elegant, streamlined set of pots that can be snapped together in about 10 minutes.
Windowfarms was founded in 2009 by Britta Riley as an open-source community/art project inspired by the writings of Michael Pollan and Clay Shirky. Since then, Windowfarms.org has attracted 22,000 members from around the globe. That number could substantially rise with the new garden design, which can be rigged up from a standard kit of parts: "environmentally friendly" plastic pots, wire, plumbing tubes, and a pump, which delivers nutrients to the plants by a timer.
According to Windowfarms, if you’ve got direct sunlight, you can grow just about anything at home, with the exception of root vegetables and cereal plants like corn and wheat, which are too tall for tiny pots. But you may have to experiment with various plants and nutrient amounts to find the right fit for your domestic microclimate. And, unfortunately, you’ll still have to brave the grocery store every now and then, since even if your plants grow as hardy as Audrey II, you won’t be able to subsist on your garden alone.
If you order from Kickstarter, Windowfarms will send you a one-column system, which accommodates eight plants, for $99; $249 gets you the two-column model, with enough room for 16 plants.