The New Urban Allotment Garden: Your Window?

I have a confession. I am a StumbleUpon addict. It is a really good thing that I don’t actually work for anyone, because I would waste 1000s of working hours hitting my StumbleUpon button like a crack addicted lab rat. I am sure that if I was attending some kind of self help group, like SUUAnon (StumbleUpon Users Anonymous) or IAFABWAL (Internet Addicts For A Better World And Life)  I would tell you to avoid this program at all cost. But since I am an unrepentant SU junkie, I am going to tell you to run right out and install it on your computer… now… I will wait…

Oh good, you are back.

The awesome thing about StumbleUpon is you find the most awesome, awesome things on the internet. (*sigh*, I just said awesome 3X in one sentence. I need to cut back on the Red Bull.) You know that feeling back in 1994 and you first saw the dancing hamsters and you said “Oh my god, this internet thing can not only make information available to the masses but will make sure that the masses are so busy watching asinine but strangely fascinating things that they never learn any of that stuff” — StumbleUpon can give you that feeling again as fast and as many times as you can click on a button and your browser can load.

I just realized that my tangent went way down the path, so let me fetch it back.

Sooooooo… I was hitting my SU button the other day and I found the coolest thing. A way to make a window garden… wait for it… out of mostly garbage.

Watch now and then we will talk:

Now I have a yard and a garden in that yard. This is not something I am needing all that much right now. But, the system intrigues me for the winter when I want to grow fresh herbs and the like.

And I definitely could see how an apartment bound urban dweller would see this as a bridge. A way to garden in some fashion and have something that was not trucked 2,000 miles to feed you. But as cool as this system is, unless I am living on lettuce and herbs, it appears it can only supplement my diet and really only replaces some low level veggies.

That is not to say that it is not really awesome (there is that word again)and fun to do, I am just not really sure how effective it would be.   What do you think?

11 thoughts on “The New Urban Allotment Garden: Your Window?
  1. That’s so exciting. I’m always intrigued by using vertical space and those semi-automated watering systems. Great alternative if you don’t have a yard, or room for outs of herbs outside.

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  2. The most important thing to take away from this is how it gets people interested in a subject, horticulture, that was for a time not all that hip. This kind of stuff is turning the field of horticulture into the most ground breaking and “hip” fields to be involved in the 21’st century. We are at the cusp of a resurgence in gardening like we haven’t seen for 30 years.

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  3. Christina on

    I love it, I think it would be great on a deck in the summer too. I have a nosy neighbor who likes to keep track of my summer activities, this would make a great screen, and feed us too. The variety of plants you could grow in the summer would be greater too, pole beans, cuc’s, maybe zuchini? And of course tomatoes!

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  4. Wow. Now that feels like a slap to the face. Granted, their system is a little more refined (helps when you have that many people working on it)… but I grew tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, green onions, carrots, and radishes in my dorm room back in 2007 with a not exceptionally different design. (a la http://goingbackwardmovingforward.blogspot.com/2008/01/indoor-vegetable-garden-with-topsy.html)

    Now somebody is getting funding to do this.

    Sometimes I wish I were more corporate-minded… I probably could have quit my day job by now and bought land on which I could have a real garden.

    Oh well… I suppose I still have a soul (or, at least, that’s what I tell myself so I can sleep at night… haha).

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    Solar gardener Reply:

    I should think that will work pretty well in a sunny window. Maybe for the eco-conscious it’s worth looking at my website (www.rainwatergardening.com) – there’s pumps there that use sunshine for power, and whereas they are designed to pump water, they will pump air too.

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  5. Pam Ruatto on

    To put out this effort with the amount of space and conditions is inspiring. I have a large yard, large garden, and lots of local produce available April-November. But seeing people work hard in more difficult situations shames me to do better with what I produce for myself, what I view as possible or too difficult.

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  6. That’s an awesome idea! While it may not appeal to those of us with actual soil to work, it is a perfect door-opening experience to “grow your own.” Some people may go whole hog and decide to work for NASA, while others decide to quit the concrete jungle and look for a more sustainable way of life. Lots and lots of possibilities and it makes me happy to see collaboration.

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  7. worm farm on

    Oh man that is soooo cool! I grew up on a very large farm where we were always self-sufficient like this, but we had a lot of resources that urban dwellers do not. This is very pleasing, because cultivation like this is very rewarding for the spirit. I think we are on to a new revolution, and it makes me happy, because a lot of farms in operation have been beaten down my consumers and corporate institutions. I think it will just get better and better :)

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  8. Once you add in the cost of a pump, and the cost of the water which evaporates rapidly with hydroponics, and the cost of the electricity to run the pump, your veggies cost about the same as your car payment (ok, so I exaggerated… a little). It is expensive. Not only that, but the reservoir runs dry at the most inconvenient times, and the pump will just shut off. You may come back home from work to find that the pump shut off 35 seconds after you closed the door that morning on your way out, and the roots of your plants look like earthworms on the sidewalk after the sun came out. Been there, done it. For the few that you can grow, the cost is really prohibitive. I’d do it another way.

    I’d fill the containers with dirt, and eliminate the pump and reservoir. Just stick a collecting container at the bottom of each stack to catch overflow. Water daily at the top, and let it trickle down. Actually easier than fussing with the hydroponic equipment and WAY cheaper. Hydroponics are currently in vogue, but only because people are fascinated with cool and trendy stuff. They really aren’t all that practical.

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