| 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards Nominee | Martha Stewart





American Made Since 2011

Britta Riley

Brooklyn, New York
Grow deliciously fresh food in windows with a new healthy, sustainable soil-free method and welcome the ancient art of farming into modern life.
New York

Tell us about your business.

Windowfarms are reviving home food growing for people without farms. When I moved from a farm to a tiny fifth floor apartment in New York, I craved home-grown taste. I tried every clever container, wallplanter, & gardening gizmo but my food plants came up weak & tasteless. I made a deep dive into biology and learned what was missing indoors- a breathing, circulating ecosystem. I set out to design a system to produce the most delicious and abundant harvests possible in my 4x6 window with style I would want to showcase in my small living room. Trained as a technology designer, I opened my development process on the web and asked for collaborators to join and test with me. Since, more than 60,000 people have joined the project and we launched sustainable US manufacturing of a gorgeous first design. The community contributes their experience growing all kinds of popular food plants this new way. We're creating a legacy of knowledge and expanding possibilities for future urban farmers.

What makes your business stand out?

We're making a verdant, healthy future real by advancing high-tech organics and social learning for urban farmers. As more of us grow up in urban environments, we crave a connection with nature. We gravitate to lush plant life and we crave foods with farm fresh flavor. More of us long for a simple life of a bygone era but find ourselves living busy modern lives far away from fields. In designing Windowfarms, we embraced this paradox, our mission was to overcome the technical challenges to convenient effective growing indoors while creating a deep connection with food and nature at home. Thus, Windowfarms are not food growing gadgets; they're a part of our lives. They cheer us up, help us makes great tasting food, inspire great memories, and stir deep conversations. Windowfarms together with the experience of being part of a community of Windowfarmers empower us to constantly learn, to become innovative supergrowers, and to bring rare greens, herbs, and veggies back to our cooking.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Your most valuable asset is your time in pursuit of the goals for your business. Be proactive and ground your time solidly in the pursuit of your own goals. React to emails sparingly and trust yourself as judge to determine where outside offers align with your own direction. Success leads to more and more inbound interest and opportunity that can either serve the purposes you have chosen or lead you astray.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.