A few years ago Vincent and I installed a Windowfarm and grew some leafy greens & herbs.
I was interviewed about the Windowfarm by Jennifer Grayson for USA Today. The article wasn’t published, but with Jennifer’s permission I wanted to share it with you, to hopefully inspire you to give indoor gardening a try.
USA Today Interview : January 23, 2012
1. Where do you live? What’s your occupation?
New York City, in Washington Heights. I’m an artist and a small business owner. I screen print my artwork onto eco-friendly t-shirts, and sell them in my etsy shop, The Lotus Root (http://www.etsy.com/shop/thelotusroot).
My boyfriend, Vincent, and I started using the Windowfarms system because we felt it was important to become more self-sufficient and to know where at least some of our food comes from. We also wanted to save money, and to be able to grow certain organic vegetables & herbs that aren’t always available in our neighborhood.
3. What are you growing in your Windowfarm? Can you describe your setup for me? (What kind of window/apartment you’re working with, how big a system you have, if you bought a ready-made one or built your own, etc.)
So far we’ve grown romaine and buttercrunch lettuce, chard, chives, parsley, tulsi, rosemary, lambsquarters & basil. We live in a 3 bedroom apartment and our windowfarm is installed on a standard window. We ordered our 2 column Windowfarm kit from windowfarms.org and put it together with our own water bottles.
4. How much food are you growing? How has the Windowfarm impacted your grcery shopping habits (if at all)?
So far we’ve grown enough lettuce for a few salads, and some other greens to juice. This was just a test run – now that we know how easy the process is we’re planning to plant lettuce seeds a lot more frequently. We also plan to install another system so that we can have more greens and some other vegetables. Our basil, rosemary and chives have grown really well in the Windowfarm, and we haven’t had to buy any of those herbs since we started.
I find that the biggest difference is having access to fresh organic herbs (year-round), which can be expensive and not always available in our neighborhood.
We spend a few minutes a day making sure there’s enough water being circulated throughout the system (and refilling the bottles if necessary). We also spend a few minutes a day pruning, for the most part the Windowfarm does all the work.
6. What’s the best thing about having your Windowfarm? Any challenges so far?
So far the best things about having our Windowfarm have been inspiring others to grow their own food, and having our own fresh greens and herbs for salads, cooking and for tea. We’re very happy with our Windowfarm and haven’t experienced any challenges.
7. Any tips for newbie gardeners / people who are trying to garden in small spaces?
Definitely order a window farm – it’s a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
You can always start by growing herbs in pots in your apartment or on a back porch / fire escape, but we’ve found that the plants that we’ve experimented with have grown more easily and more quickly in the window farm. There are a lot of great blogs and books available on methods such as square foot gardening and container gardening. Have fun experimenting and keep and open mind.
I think everyone should try to grow their own food, its empowering, a lot of fun, and will save you money in the long run.
I’m looking forward to trying out the new windowfarm system. I love the fact that the Windowfarms project is interactive and always evolving.
Learn more about Windowfarms and find the kits here: http://www.windowfarms.com
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the Windowfarm or about growing your own food: firstname.lastname@example.org
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