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by Tom M

Passive system feedback

9:22 am in Education, Getting Started, Help the project by testing this, kits, Projects in Process, Seeking Advice by Tom M

hello, my name is Tom and I am a student studying 3D Design. One of my recent projects was looking at hydroponic gardens. Initially my project was focused on people who live in houseboats due to the lack of space and faculties available to them, however as the project developed it became apparent that my solution would be transferable to other environments such as apartments and people with limited space.

I thought I would create a post to get a bit of feedback with people who use hydroponics and probably have a lot more expertise then me!

My final solution was to create a very simple passive system using a cotton wick, which pulls up the nutrient solution from the bottom bottle to the top. Above is some computer renders of my final system, I hope after reading how it all works it will make sense!

The bottom bottle contains the nutrients solution, and the top contains the growing medium (I imagine it to be coconut fibre), with a wick which joins the two together through my joining system.

The main part of the project is the joining system between the bottles, which allowed you to use different size bottles depending on what you had. It works by using a latex skin which you can pull over the bottle top, similar to how you stretch the end of a balloon over a bottle. It also holds the string for hanging the garden, and because it is a very simple system you can have as many bottles as you wanted (or could fit) on the string.

This linking product makes it a lot easier to begin a hydroponic garden, therefore making it more accessible. I imagine that you would be able to buy the linking system with the nutrients and instructions how to grow with hydroponics, as well as releasing open source instructions on how to create a similar system for free so you could adapt to your needs/ expertise.

I would love it if you could give some feedback to this project, any advice to make it better or directions you think it could go in. It was only a four week project, so is definitely not a finished polished product and could be radically improved.

Thanks for reading and get posting


Sustainable Everyday Practices Research Project

12:57 pm in Getting Started, Other Cool Urban Ag. Stuff, questions, Seeking Advice by James Wilcox

Hi Windowfarmers,

In addition to an aspiring home food grower, I’m a grad student at the New School doing research on participatory media and sustainable everyday practices. My primary case study deals with local food systems and closing the waste loop. I’ve created a brief survey here (, and I’d greatly appreciate it if you would consider spending a few minutes to take it! I’m also looking for respondents to participate in brief interviews about their use of technology (both “low” and “high”) in relation to their food growing, food sourcing, and/or waste minimization practices and aspirations. There is an area in the survey to indicate whether you would be interested in participating in an interview–or you could feel free to contact me here!

Thanks again for your time!

James Wilcox