Window Farms is a group that's developing and cultivating a DIY system of edible hydroponic gardens which use recycled materials and are built with urban window spaces in mind. Created by New York artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray, it's not so much a product, but an ongoing collaborative experiment. People can go to their site and get all the information they need to build their own window farm, interact with other builders, and share what's worked and what needs improvement. So far, there are nearly 1,300 people registered. Window farms are mostly being built by New Yorkers, and the group has had installations at both the Whitney and Eyebeam, but they're also gaining traction in other areas, and have even been installed in art galleries in Hong Kong and Helsinki.
And though the art community has embraced it (no surprise there, as they do look cool), the underlying idea is really about creating a hyper-local supply of food. Maya Nayak of Window Farms says the things that grow best are bok choy, lettuce, and herbs like basil, chives, and thyme. Root vegetables won't really work, but she said that people have successfully grown heirloom tomatoes and even squash.
Kits are in the works for non-DIYers, but to get the full experience it seems like building it yourself is what it's all about. I'm rallying the CHOW staff to see if we can't install one in our test kitchen.
Check out Cool Hunting's recent video on the group: