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No garden, no balcony, no terrace? Start windowfarming!

Just came back from the Hub which is hosting a three-day-workshop about windowfarming, a vertical growing-system for growing greens in your own urban dwelling. The project was started by artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray in February, 2009 through an artist’s residency in New York. The idea came out of the simple will to grow own vegetables in Britta’s Brooklyn flat, which does not, like most urban housing, have access to dirt. Since then, it has found an incredible fast-growing worldwide acclaim. The internet and social media has allowed the project to be developped further by all sorts of people with different backgrounds around the globe, building the system themselves and sharing their experiences on the open source community blog of the project, http://our.windowfarms.org/. And here the link to the “official” website of the project.

Detail of a bottle with some beautiful greens

Windowfarms installation in New York

The system has also been installed in Finland in a bigger scale (81 bottles) during the Pixelache festival 2010 by Mikko Laajola, Andrew Paterson and Niko Punin with the help of many volunteers in Helsinki’s contemporary art museum Kiasma. One third of the materials went to the Hub Helsinki, so that the windowfarming could be continued in a semi-public location in the city.

Here is a link to the Facebook-event, taking place tomorrow and the day after (24./24.08.2010, starting from 6 pm-8 pm). It is not too late to participate yet! Tomorrow, the planning and material retrievement will be discussed and adjusted to Finnish conditions, and on Wednesday, we will build a windowfarm to the Hub! This project is a beautiful example of how open source, collaboration, participatory design, social media, and a simple and great idea can make the world a better place.

I am really thrilled about this, since I am famous for my rather black thumb, but still always wanted to grow something at home. Never really had the possibility because of the lack of a garden or a balcony. In Finnish conditions, this system even gives the possibility to grow food all year through, and, by adding a light system like the Kiasma-crew did, even throughout the dark Finnish winter. Anxious to learn more by trying it out!

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