The idea for the project came from a community eco-design forum that featured the innovative work of Brita Riley. Riley created the first hydroponic window farm installation located in New York City in February of 2009 (Riley). Her objective was to teach those who lived in urban food deserts and worked in office buildings an affordable and easily maintainable way to grow their own food and personally involve them in issues related to agriculture and the environment. Food deserts are an area where large-scale supermarkets have abandoned--leaving the entire community with little or no access to affordable, quality food (Bullard). Riley created a community forum using social media in order to encourage other artists and gardening enthusiasts to develop their own versions of her hydroponic, soilless, gardening system. And she states that
The ultimate aim of the Windowfarms project, however, is not to create a perfected
physical object or product. Rather, the most highly valued result is a rewarding
experience with crowsdsourced innovation. We are interested in the participants’
experience as they design for their own microenvironments, share ideas, rediscover the
power of their own capacity to innovate, and witness themselves playing an active role in
the green revolution (Riley).
Even though low income groups produce the lowest ecological footprints, cohort groups who fall below the poverty threshold would benefit in many ways from learning about sustainability practices because they demonstrate the largest need for these principles (Echo). While some low income Americans have learned little about the corporate “green movement” advertised in the media and its impact on the environment, if these cohort groups had better access to information about the income barriers and other economic factors that limit access to education...
To learn more, check out: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31294822/Background-Paper-The-Savor-the-Earth-Hydroponic-Window-Farm-Project