FarmXchange - Prototype Open Source Edible Towers

Fund the R&D of various aquaponic grow tower designs. Feed the needy. Raise awareness. Educate farmers. Revolutionize agriculture.
Maria Stallings
San Diego, California
United States
5 Team Members

FarmXchange is a nonprofit that promotes the growth of organic, non-GMO, local, "real" agriculture. We are comprised of a group of passionate urbanites who founded the nonprofit in January of 2013 to raise awareness about the social and environmental impacts of our food choices and to research sustainable, farmer-built technologies. We currently publish our research and experiences developing DIY soil-less vertical gardens and growing our own food in San Diego, California.

Hydroponic Window Farm

We created this campaign in partnership with the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI)Follow the link to learn more about OFI and its mission to regenerate the rainforest in Indonesia and save its unique species of wild orangutans.

Initially, our goal was to raise $7,000 to travel to OFI's rehabilitation centers in Borneo to prototype aquaponic grow structures on tropical rainforest lands previously "degraded" by palm oil companies. The project would not only help OFI feed the 350 orphaned wild orangutans that the foundation cares for until they are ready for release back into the wild, but it would also be used to educate and feed local residents.

With less than three days in the campaign, however, it seems we might fall a bit shy of our initial goal. Nevertheless, FarmXchange is continuing to move forward with our mission of prototyping and testing various aquaponic grow structures -- if only in backyards closer to home! YOUR contributions will help us expand our research and development efforts either way! 

Here are pictures of our latest vertical garden prototype, which cost us under $250 to build from scratch in a backyard in Hawaii:

 Patio gutter aquaponic garden

Backyard aquaponics on oahu

DONATE NOW and receive illustrated specifications of how to build and maintain this aquaponic system to benefit you and your family -->

Features of our vertical farm include:

  • Lightweight and scalable design
  • Minimal, low-cost building materials.
  • Aquaponic grow method, which requires no soil, chemical fertilizers or pesticides and uses 90% less water than soil-based grow methods.
  • Perfect for any open space: patios, backyards, offices, waiting rooms, conference areas -- really any open space, in any human community!
  • Peace of mind that comes with KNOWING you are feeding yourself and your loved ones healthy, organic, antibiotic- and GMO-free fish and veggies.

 50 gallon tilapia pond


The pressure on global food producers will only intensify as the population grows and the climate continues to change. Climate change is exacerbating the problem, especially in developing areas with already scarce resources and little access to potable water. 

Ironically, "conventional" agriculture is the greatest polluter, contributor to climate change, and the largest user of land and water. Modern agriculture accounts for 70% of all water use, 40% of all land use, and 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Over half the world's tropical rainforests have been destroyed, largely due to increasing demands for food and biodiesels like palm oil. With prevailing monocrop practices and over-reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, "modern" agriculture is polluting our groundwater, depleting the nutrients in our soils, and poisoning our bodies.

To safely meet growing food needs of people everywhere, while also working to reverse climate change and our impact on the environment, FarmXchange's mission is to research, develop, and disseminate alternative agricultural technologies made for people, not for profit. We pledge to keep all design specifications and construction plans open source -- for the public to inspect, replicate, and improve upon. 

Your contributions will enable us to accelerate the movement toward a more sustainable planet like never before. We're committed to making all the knowledge we learn about sustainable farming technologies available to as many people as possible -- in hopes of inspiring and empowering individuals and organizations around the globe to build similar structures to feed and sustain their own communities.

Let’s save the planet, one community at a time!

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raised in 1 month
2% funded
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$7,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 7, 2013
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Select a Perk
  • $3USD
    Warm fuzzies

    Help save wild orangutans, raise awareness, and inspire future generations of sustainable farmers.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $15USD
    DIY Vertical Garden (specs)

    Illustrated specifications of how to build the modular aquaponic vertical garden (pictured left). Low-cost, compact, lightweight design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Dimensions: 5 ft (H) x 3 ft (W) x 11.5 ft (L) 50 gallon fish pond 40 ft of vertical grow space

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $45USD
    Grow the Revolution (tee)

    Unisex. S M L or XL. Comfy, breathable cotton. Stylish wash and design. Created by Life Clothing Co. ( + Hero status + Warm fuzzies

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
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