Growing hydroponically has the potential to be both more efficient and more productive than traditional soil-based gardening, and it can fit right in to the urban lifestyle, but it can also seem quite mysterious to those of us who are used to just planting our seeds in the ground and letting nature take care of the delivering the nutrients to the plants.

However, if Sustainable Microfarms (SMF) has anything to do with it, future hydroponics systems could be a whole lot simpler, thanks to their automated growing solutions.

<a href=”http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/sustainable-microfarms.html”>Sustainable Microfarms aims to make hydroponics easy and automated</a>
So much in the design world is controlled and ordered that it is refreshing to see something this wild and natural, while also being so modern. It is an intriguing juxtaposition of controlled chaos on the exterior and elegantly designed simplicity inside.
While most of us won&#8217;t be fortunate enough to have a place like this of our own, I think the lesson here is to remember that good design doesn&#8217;t necessarily mean perfect symmetry or control over the elements. Sometimes letting things run a little wild can lead to beautiful results.

via Overgrown garden shed shows beauty of wild design 

So much in the design world is controlled and ordered that it is refreshing to see something this wild and natural, while also being so modern. It is an intriguing juxtaposition of controlled chaos on the exterior and elegantly designed simplicity inside.

While most of us won’t be fortunate enough to have a place like this of our own, I think the lesson here is to remember that good design doesn’t necessarily mean perfect symmetry or control over the elements. Sometimes letting things run a little wild can lead to beautiful results.

via Overgrown garden shed shows beauty of wild design 

Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a &#8220;place of warmth&#8221;), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.
via Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video)

Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a “place of warmth”), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.

via Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video)

For some, raising chickens can be part of a integrated approach for self-sufficiency. In growing your own food, chickens can provide a regular supply of eggs, fertilizer through their manure, pest management (they eat lots of bugs), plus their ingrained, ground-scratching behaviour prepares the soil for crops. Chickens need shelter of course, and we&#8217;ve seen plenty of nifty designsfor chicken coops, with this interesting specimen from Italian collaborative laboratory DettoFatto (a.k.a. &#8220;said done&#8221;) being one of the latest.
See more photos here: Chicken coop gets cool &amp; contemporary treatment in Sicily

For some, raising chickens can be part of a integrated approach for self-sufficiency. In growing your own food, chickens can provide a regular supply of eggs, fertilizer through their manure, pest management (they eat lots of bugs), plus their ingrained, ground-scratching behaviour prepares the soil for crops. Chickens need shelter of course, and we’ve seen plenty of nifty designsfor chicken coops, with this interesting specimen from Italian collaborative laboratory DettoFatto (a.k.a. “said done”) being one of the latest.

See more photos here: Chicken coop gets cool & contemporary treatment in Sicily

Gardeners, where are you getting your seeds? With hybrids and genetically modified seeds becoming more prevalent, it&#8217;s important to remember that all seeds are not created equal! Start your garden right with heirloom seeds. Here are some of the companies we like most: 10 Heirloom Seed Companies Pioneering a Revival

Gardeners, where are you getting your seeds? With hybrids and genetically modified seeds becoming more prevalent, it’s important to remember that all seeds are not created equal! Start your garden right with heirloom seeds. Here are some of the companies we like most: 10 Heirloom Seed Companies Pioneering a Revival

© Andreu Carulla
Andreu Carulla&#8217;s NeighBirds is a clever take on the birdhouse. 
Each birdhouse is hand-crafted into a hexagon from untreated pine. As a stand-alone birdhouse NeighBirds is a perfectly fine birdhouse. The genius of the design comes into play when the love birds decide to start a family.
(via NeighBirds: Brilliant, Modular Birdhouse Expands Into Bird Neighborhood (Photos)&#160;: TreeHugger)

© Andreu Carulla

Andreu Carulla’s NeighBirds is a clever take on the birdhouse. 

Each birdhouse is hand-crafted into a hexagon from untreated pine. As a stand-alone birdhouse NeighBirds is a perfectly fine birdhouse. The genius of the design comes into play when the love birds decide to start a family.

(via NeighBirds: Brilliant, Modular Birdhouse Expands Into Bird Neighborhood (Photos) : TreeHugger)