Saturday, September 29, 2012


WApU = Window Aquaponics Unit

As part of our way of learning about aquaponics systems and moving forward we all decided to construct window-units in our apartments. This is the first in a series of posts I will make showing the progress of my WApU = Window Aquaponics Unit.

One of the windows in my living room faces approximately south. I have yet to finish the shading diagram to determine exactly how many hours of sun falls on the windows, but this first image shows accumulated solar radiation between October 1 and April 30, where red is the peak (Analysis performed in DIVA for Rhino).

The red area above will be where I will construct the planters. I'm going to plant kale and maybe other leafy greens that can handle 3-6 hrs of direct sun (I hope I will get this much). For the planters I plan to revisit a project I did at University of Michigan. The project proposed a flower farm in a favela in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to increase water retention and provide an economic opportunity for the neighborhood.

As part of that process, a colleague, Charlie Starr, and I designed a system for reusing soda bottles as hanging planters. It seems like this project could be a great way of incorporating the design research from that project into a working prototype.
So, today, Kyle and I bought the fish tank system to start the process. 
This is a 20gal (long) tank with aerator, filtration unit and pump with 10 feet of tubing to eventually feed the upper system. All three elements draw a total of 122.5W. I'll probably get a timer for at least the pump.

The system will run for a week, then we will introduce a few fish (likely goldfish for now). They will probably die. We will re-stock. Goldfish can stand cooler temperatures but if I want to introduce tropical fish I may need to add a heater. 
More to come.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

PC Shirts on the way!

Join our collective by donating $55 and we'll thank you with official PC schwag:  a t-shirt, pint glass and sticker. Yes - I said a STICKER!

Rezoning For Urban Agriculture, Boston

Just FYI to all of out followers - this is the BRA's official website regarding the working group. The last meeting was Sept. 6th and the next meeting will presumably be the first Tuesday (the 2nd) of October.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pint Glasses and Stickers Arrive!


PC pint glasses and stickers have arrived... our gift of thanks to you for donating $25 to our cause.

Remember, a $55 tax-free donation gets you a sweet Productive Collective T-Shirt, and beyond that there is some other fantastic stuff.

Check out our Support Tiers for more information on what YOU get when you help US out!

Email to send us your shipping address and t-shirt size, and expect to see these arrive by hand or by post very soon!

TED Talk: Britta Riley

More on window gardens!

Vertical Farm and Retail Store Grows Mushrooms and Herbs

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ark Fab

These folks from Georgia Tech are doing some great research on urban agriculture and as they call it, 'appropriate biotechnology'. Cool stuff.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Windowfarmers R&D-I-Y: Developing Edible Gardens For Urban Windows.
This site is the online community of windowfarmers around the world. Together, we are continually getting better at growing food in the local conditions of our own homes. We are contributing to the “green revolution” as non-experts. We call it R&D-I-Y, or Research &Develop IYourself. We use this site to collaborate on evolving designs for these vertical hydroponic systems– proposing experiments, testing techniques, and developing a shared knowledge base around the many variables involved in building and maintaining a farm inside a city apartment. Welcome!