At-home, DIY farming has become the rage among eco-conscious hipsters, but there's still one big problem: scaling up your window farm, so it can become a real food-source rather than a feel-good lark.
And that's what FarmShare, a Brooklyn-based project created by Stacey Murphy, aims to solve. The service, which is still in its early phases, is a finalist in the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, which seeks to find big-idea solutions to "humanity's most pressing problems."
The program uses Web tools and social networking to connect myriad unused resources that would otherwise be wasted. For example, homeowners can announce that they have a patch of land ripe for farming and receive a portion of the yield in return. Meanwhile, local businesses and community groups can announce that they have, for example, 10 pounds of coffee grounds begging for composting. Participants can also sign up to volunteer on any of the micro-farms in their neighborhood.
Other finalists in the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge include Living Building, a new, ultra-stringent building standard (whose first building, the Omega Center, we covered here), a program that teaches women in rural Africa how to install solar power in their communities, and a plan to create "Eco-Boulevards" in Chicago that will clean run-off water and return it to the city's lakes.
The winner will be announced in May, and receive a $100,000 grant. You can see all of the finalists here.