Windowfarms is a Brooklyn-based social enterprise that helps city dwellers around the world grow some of their own fresh food. Windowfarms makes vertical indoor food gardens that optimize the conditions of windows for year-round indoor growing of greens, herbs, and small vegetables. The company runs a 40,000 member online community of growers. Windowfarms is on a mission to revive agricultural biodiversity and to connect eaters with sustainable food production for a healthier future for both humans and the environment.
BORN IN BROOKLYN
Windowfarms started as an art project and an experimental design project to harness the power of internet-based mass collaboration to produce a positive impact on human life offline. After growing up on a Texas farm, Founder Britta Riley missed the presence of Nature and the art of food growing after a few years living in a fourth floor Brooklyn walk-up apartment. She was determined to find a way to grow some of her own food in the conditions she shared with billions of modern city dwellers. In 2009, with a very small creative technology grant from Eyebeam Center for Art, Founder Britta Riley and early partner Rebecca Bray started an open source community for makers interested in growing food indoors in cities. With the rapidly surging popularity of the urban agriculture globally, tens of thousands of people around the world soon joined in on a unique effort to learn from one another’s efforts. After dozens of iterations on hydroponic and aquaponic systems retooled for the design constraints of city living, the community coalesced around a vertical column system.
Through a record-breaking, (yet problematically early) campaign on Kickstarter, Riley raised the funds to sustainably manufacture a version of the Windowfarms system in the United States.
Her TED talk on collaborative innovation has drawn over one million views and popularized urban agriculture globally.
LEADING A MOVEMENT
Windowfarms has built year-round productive and intensely delicious food gardens for clients as diverse as the American Museum of Natural History, 21c Museum Hotels, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Freshii international franchise of healthy casual food. Millions of people have seen the gardens and learned about food production that is easily within reach.
PIONEERS IN URBAN AGRICULTURE
Windowfarms is the world’s best known brand in urban agriculture and produces LED growlights, systems, and live food plants in partnership with local farms. In its design and research, Windowfarms let’s big questions lead its work. Within the constraints of city-based farming, where every component is shipped in, what is dirt? If we are going to take on the work of growing food in the city, how can agriculture optimize for human health, good gut microbes, clean modern design, and biophilia?