The Parasite Farm consists of an indoor compost system that can be hung on your kitchen table and illumined plant boxes which fit perfectly in a bookshelf.
This project was conceived, designed and built in cooperation with Nils Ferber.
It was developed within the seminar “Agriculture and the City” held by Harald Gründl.
All pictures were taken by Alexander Giesemann.
Country – Human – City ?
Today 88% of Germany’s population lives in cities and only 5.8% of the country’s cultivated land is farmed ecologically. While most fruits and vegetables have become available all year round we are loosing touch with how it was grown, harvested and transported. But how could we counter these alienation of our basis of life?
The expensive, highly compacted urban area doesn’t leave much room for agricultural practices and not everybody has access to a balcony or garden. Our poetic answer to that question is the “Parasite Farm”: A system that enables you to compost your biological waste, produce humus soil and to grow your own vegetables and herbs — all within your apartment!
To integrate with your interior and your habits both the vermicompost system and the plant boxes use existing furniture as infrastructure. The parasitic objects are fed by your food scraps and provide you — in turn — with fresh vegetables. We hope that this small-scale nutrient cycle makes people discover the fascination of growing you own food and evokes questions about the current industrial food production and possible alternatives.
From waste to nutrient
The cutting board can be slid aside to easily shove food scraps into the vermicompost-container.
A built-in fly trap prevents fruit flies from escaping into your kitchen.
From nutrient to nutriment
The water contained in fresh vegetable or fruit scraps runs through the drawer and is stored in a translucent tank. It can be added into your watering can via a small pump and be used as liquid vertilizer.
A small window on the plant box’s edge indicates the level of water and shows you when to water your plants again.
The compost material rests on a grate. To harvest some humus soil you simply shake the grate a bit and pull out the drawer underneath. The nutrient-rich humus soil provides the base for growing vegetables and herbs in your bookshelf.