VERTICAL GARDENS: A GREEN OPTION
“Grow up and away” by saving space and water.
Last summer, Paul Langdon, a 43-year-old software engineer from Wethersfield, Connecticut, decided to plant a sustainable garden, but he had two problems: the backyard of his old house was too small for that and growing almost exclusively in pots would use up too much water.
So, he went vertical to maximize his growing potential; he turned to hydroponics, or gardening without soil. Over two weekends, Landgon and his friend, Curt Downing, designed and built a compact, vertical hydroponic garden, capable of growing up to 160 plants – everything from lettuce to coriander to basil – and all whilst using 90 percent less water than a regular garden. It is controlled from a mobile phone, which, in turn, is connected to a computerized system, which keeps track of and regulates water, temperature, PH levels and nutrients. And here’s yet another surprise: would you believe it if we told you that all of the materials needed for this came to less than $500?
In September, their project won first prize in the New York Maker Faire‘s sustainability category. The New York Maker Faire is a marquee event that encourages people to design and create their own things. That’s exactly Langdon and Downing’s most wished fruit: “We’re not looking to become millionaires off it. We’re looking to help people help themselves.”
As a matter of fact, this daring eco-friendly “farmscraper” has come as a valuable fertilizer for people in urban areas who lack access to food, or in drought-stricken regions like California.