Building a WindowFarm (Part 1)

This weekend I started building a WindowFarm with my brother.  Building it together is actually his Channukah present (just don’t ask which year’s).  We used the ‘mini’ version 2 instructions that will yield a single column WindowFarm holding three planters.  The instructions are not the best, but they’re totally sufficient if you’re willing to wing things a bit.

I didn’t start taking pictures until we were already underway.

Instructions, materials and tools laid out.

Instructions, materials and tools laid out.

We cut holes in the bottom of each water bottle so they can stack and drain into each other.  We also cut holes in the side to insert the net cups (and so the plants have room to grow).  The instructions specify that you should use Poland Springs 1.5 liter ‘eco design’ bottles.  They don’t really explain why, but the reason is that they get narrower in the middle and that holds the net cups nicely in place.  We used another brand of water bottles that had a similar narrowing in the center.

Net cups placed inside water bottles

Net cups placed inside water bottles

Then we started cutting tubing for the air lift.

Gilad, cutting tubes

Gilad, cutting tubes.

We didn’t buy all the different types of tubing the instructions call for so we had to improvise to get the air pump needles attached to the tubing.  Liberal amounts of teflon tape were used, followed by testing for air leaks in a nearby cup of water.

Testing for air leaks

Testing for air leaks

The aquarium pump has two outlets.  Each one gets a tube with an air pump needle.  These were inserted into holes at the bottom of the air lift tube.  This will carry water to the top of the WindowFarm which will drip through each planter and back into the reservoir at the bottom.

Bottom of the air lift tube.  Those blue plastic pieces are check valves.

Bottom of the air lift tube. Those blue plastic pieces are check valves.

Sarah and her furry assistant taped up the bottoms of the bottles.

Aurora is 'helping'

Sarah, taping the bottom of the bottles so the roots don’t photosynthesize

Then they got all artsy on ’em.

Sarah and her friend decoupaged the bottles.  Pretty!

Sarah and her friend decoupaged the bottles. Pretty!

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