Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the Montessori Back To School Workshop at Brockman Elementary School. The event was sponsored by the South Carolina Montessori Alliance, a group uniting the private and public Montessori programs in our state. At the conference I attended a session on Hydroponics in the classroom led by Roger Pryor of Abner Montessori in Chapin. I was not sure what to expect, but I ended up having a great time, learned how easy hydroponics can be, and left dying to start a Window Farm in my classroom this year.
This session immediately grabbed my attention when Roger related Window Farms to a ride a Disney World in Epcot called “The Land” where boats take passengers through Disney’s Farm of the future featuring hydroponics. I love that ride, and have secretly always wanted to try it myself. I felt it would be too dificult, so I never tried. Well, in this session, that changed. In fact, we actually built a working Window Farm during the time we had at the conference.
I recommend learning more about this type of gardening by checking out these resources:
To see some window farms, and purchase your own kit, or find a plan to build one from scratch like we did check out www.windowfarms.org
This is an open source community started by Britta Riley where different people from across the world come together, share ideas, improve designs and spread the knowledge of window farming. You can see lots of DIY ideas and plans or you buy your own.
Also, I would watch Britta Riley’s Ted Talk on window farming to learn more. Click here to view it.
In the session, we built a three plant water pump system. The materials we needed were mostly stuff you can find easily. 1.5 liter water bottles, a water pump, tubing, large bucket, chain, and hanging hooks. There were a few hard to find items like Hydroton (replaces soil), and 3 in. diameter net cups, which can only be found in a Hydroponics store. If you don’t have a store nearby then it looks like homeharvest.com can ship to people. I made a short video showing how we made our window farm in our session. Take a look, and I hope you get as excited about this idea as I did.