Dutch Windowfarm (modified V3.0)
For this Dutch Windowfarm, we first translated the instructions for the Windowfarm V3.0 version.
When we actually started building, we had to make several adjustments to the original text, because some parts appeared to be unavailable in The Netherlands, and others were available, but different or not working.
In case we actually made some improvements, and in case someone struggles with the same parts as we did, here is an overview of the adjustments we made:
1. Different bottle
Since we couldn’t find a water bottle with the same shape as the Nestlé bottle, we used Schweppes. With this bottle, the plant is hanging in the middle, with enough space to grow.
The Schweppes bottle has a slightly different shape, so we had to adjust measurements of the ball chain, the tubing, etcetera.
3. Valve adapter
For assembling the water bottle cap, all 3 existing methods in the instructions were not an option. The check valve was too small for method A. The French valve didn’t fit a Dutch football needle, so that was method B. For method C the double barbed plastic threadend bulkead with nut was a headache to translate, and impossible to find in the exact measurements. So we were stuck with nothing and had to come up with something different.
A lovely bike repairman gave the answer. After promising we wouldn’t leave the shop without a solution, he came up with the valve adapter, a little copper piece you need when you have a bike with a French valve and a Dutch bicycle pump. This piece fits exactly between a Dutch football needle and an air pump air hose.
4. Different air pump
The Petco pump that is recommended in the English instruction text turns out to be out of the market for several years already. (Pitty the instruction text is never revised.) We listened to an aquarium specialist and went for the Sera 550 R Plus. (It has the same specs as the biggest Petco, and is running four columns at half power.)
Besides these replacements, we changed the design a little bit, because we felt that things could be more effective:
5. Additional flexible tube
We added a flexible tube of the same thickness as the hard plastic tube. By this, we got rid of the sudden widening in the tubing, and because of that, the water went higher more easily.
6. Less interruption
In the English text, the hard plastic tube is made of two parts. We used one single tube, so the suction is stronger. This has also resulted in an easier climbing of the water through the hose.
7. Different waterholes
We replaced the hole in the reservoir bottle by two single holes in the ‘legs’ of the bottle. We saw this in the beautiful Africanized Windowfarm with Coca Cola bottles. Both Schweppes and Coca Cola bottles have the same kind of ‘legs’, that makes it impossible to make a waterhole in the top of the bottle in any other way. And with lowering the waterhole, you reduce the water pressure in the bottle and you have to refill almost every day. This way, you get a little slack from your Window garden!
Then a few adjustments, simply because we liked it better:
8. Tie wrap
Instead of binding tape, we used a tie wrap to hold the tube in its place. Just less visible and more secure.
9. Don’t do this at home
We drilled a few holes in our windowsill because our Windowfarm fits exactly in the windowsill and can now hang straight. As a result, the pump system is less visible, which is kind of cool, and the Windowfarm doesn’t take extra space in the room.
We kept the plant bottles completely transparent and we painted the water bottles only twice. This was very nice at the beginning, but already we regret this. In the water bottles, algae grew right away, and in a few weeks time they are everywhere. We now also know what a nag it is to dissemble the farm for a cleaning job, so in time we want to fix this, and will probably go for a nicely painted edition of the farm.
For the Dutch speaking: the Dutch translation of the instructions for making a Windowfarm V3.0 is available on www.windowfarms.nl
(Voor Nederlandstaligen: de Nederlandse vertaling van de instructies voor het maken van een Windowfarm V3.0 vind je op www.windowfarms.nl)