Hydroponic Greenhouse

Koko Kerbis, Kirsten Matthews, Nicole Woo

As a group, we aim to tackle a point of contention that concerns students’ needs and budgets, and a desire to make environmentally sustainable choices. Specifically, we hope to provide healthy and economical food options for students through the use of a greenhouse-based hydroponic farming system. Hydroponic systems and year-round greenhouses can offer a level of food security for our growing population and depleting resources. It is also a small way of fighting against the industrial farming system that has entrenched itself into our society.

By turning grocery shopping into a social practice, we are facilitating dialogue on the importance of environmental sustainability in food systems, introducing a more sustainable farming practice, and promoting a more plant-based diet. Furthermore, our initiative fosters a more direct relationship between consumers and producers, an invaluable need for city-dwellers. We hope that redefining where our food comes from will help individuals gain a more holistic understanding and appreciation of their resources.

A hydroponic system is a farming practice that does not use soil. Instead, gardens are root systems that are grown in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution; meaning that plants have continuous access to nutrients, allowing growing time to reduce by two weeks, or 30-50% faster than plants grown under traditional farming practices. Moreover, a soil-less system is cleaner, making indoor gardening more appealing and practical to those that have limited space or access to the outdoors. The technique has been widely and successfully implemented throughout the world, notably in Japan and Singapore.

The first iteration of our idea involves two separate components, a greenhouse and a hydroponic system. The hydroponic system is constructed out of reclaimed wood and already available resources, its purpose as a prototype is to gain a greater understanding of how these gardens function. Meanwhile, the greenhouse (also made out of reclaimed wood) is built for the purpose of small living spaces like apartments. Together, the two work as an energy efficient system. Unlike most indoor gardens, which make use of grow lights, we plan for our future prototype to have the hydroponic system within the greenhouse, which allows the garden to benefit from the greenhouse’s regulated climatic conditions.

We successfully achieved our goal of creating a balcony-friendly greenhouse that will make micro-farming accessible to those in urban areas. Group members will use this system in the coming term to grow edible plants within their own homes. Food harvested from this garden will be for personal use, and leftover produce will be sold to others, reintroducing communities to the idea of buying directly from the farmer. These small actions will become alternatives to the mega-producer corporations that largely provide unsustainable and often unhealthy groceries. The need to create solutions to combat food scarcity is a pressing issue, as extensive research has shown the situation to worsen dramatically with climate change and the increasing population.  Our project intends to showcase to consumers the negative consequences of shopping habits. Poor choices in consumerism will have an effect on personal health, the livelihood of local farmers, and the overall wellbeing of our planet. By engaging consumers in dialogue, we hope to change their perception of the current farming industry and enable them to make better choices in consumption.

Aaron Legaspi
Brendan Mckay
Azat Bayandin
Carolyn Yip
Cuyler Dom
David Waizel
Kim Van
Kirsten Matthews
Koko Kerbis
Landon Reeves
Michelle Swolfs
Nora Le
Yzobel Biron

Cohort 18—19


Hydroponic Greenhouse
Community Yatai
Sustainable Paint Set
Healthy Habit Regime
Garbage Patch Kids
Creative Influence Challenge
Nicole Woo