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Farm Fountain

Farm Fountain by Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs, is a system for growing edible and ornamental fish and plants in a constructed, indoor ecosystem. Based on the concept of aquaponics, this hanging garden fountain uses a simple pond pump, along with gravity to flow the nutrients from fish waste through the plant roots. The plants and bacteria in the system serve to cleanse and purify the water for the fish.

This project is an experiment in local, sustainable agriculture and recycling. It utilizes 2-liter plastic soda bottles as planters and continuously recycles the water in the system to create a symbiotic relationship between edible plants, fish and humans. The work creates an indoor healthy environment that also provides oxygen and light to the humans working and moving through the space. The sound of water trickling through the plant containers creates a peaceful, relaxing waterfall. The Koi and Tilapia fish that are part of this project also provide a focus for relaxed viewing.

The plants we are currently growing include lettuces, cilantro, mint, basil, tomatoes, chives, parsley, mizuna, watercress and tatsoi. The Tilapia fish in this work are also edible and are a variety that has been farmed for thousands of years in the Nile delta. Growing our own fish has also meant that we have had to confront the killing, cleaning of them ourselves.

While Farm Fountain is functional sculpture it is also a philosophy that the artists wish to propagate. We have created  illustrated instructions online to share our designs within an open source philosophy. Please visit our illustrated "How -To" pages http://farmfountain.com to see how we made our home version, which has been running continuously since 2007.  At present we have created five versions of the Farm Fountain.

Our fifth Farm Fountain is a solar powered version, commissioned by Naturarte hotel and Cutivamos Cultura in Sao Luis Portugal in 2009. This eco-hotel is completely solar powered and the plants growing in Farm Fountain 5 are used to feed hotel guests. http://www.flickr.com/photos/amymyou/sets/72157621758248702/

Recently we have moved our home version of Farm Fountain into our kitchen pantry, which we are now calling our "Green Pantry". We renovated this room to include a South-facing, sliding-glass window for optimal plant growth.

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