project leader
Carolin M
Beach Channel Drive and Beach 45
Queens (Far Rockaway)
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the project

The UA machine is a farm installed in a shipping container, which has been topped by a regular hoop house. Inside the container fish are led in tanks, in the hoop house on the roof plants are grown in boxes and irrigated with a hydroponic system. This installation helps to teach communities how to grow fish and vegetables in a sustainable manner, i.e. on the techniques of aquaponics and hydroponics. 

Urban farms and gardens offer ideal locations for the installation of the UA Machine. Community gardens are highly visible public locations in the community - here the UA machine’s installation provides an opportunity to showcase the new design and growing technology. The UA machine is an attractive installation that will pique the interest of community residents and visitors to the neighborhood to learn more about urban farming and sustainability. In New York City most public gardens are in lower income communities, where residents will benefit from the access to high quality vegetables and protein provided by the UA machine.

the steps

The UA machine will be installed as a first stop at Edgmere Farm in Far Rockaway, which is a community garden and urban farm registered with GreenThumb, the City's municipal community garden program.

Responsible for the design of the UA machine is Carolin Mees, mees architecture ( and for the fabrication Lenny Librizzi, GrowNYC.

In February 2015 the material of the UA machine will be ordered for delivery to the first garden site for fabrication in March 2015.

why we're doing it

The ‘Urban Agriculture machine’ (UA machine) seeks to create an attractive and functional space that can be installed in community gardens, school gardens or at other community facilities to grow fish and vegetables in a sustainable manner. It will provide fresh food to low-income communities and teach about food security.



1) 4 Water tank (275 Gallons with water valves), 48" x 40" x 46", $ 700
2) Used Shipping Container,  8' x 7'- 2" x 7'-5", $1,500
3) 2 Photovoltaic Solar Panel, 33"x 21.1"x 1.97" , $400
4) Storage Battery, $425
5) Clear Polycarbonate Sheet, 24"x48"x1/8", $40
6) 8 Bolts, $30
7) 8 Nuts, $30
8) 4 Wiremesh, 14"x26",$50
9) Clay pebbles, $100
10) 2 Tube (2"diameter) 6' linear feet, $30
11) 2 Tube (3" diameter), 6' linear feet, $30
12) 1 Tube (2"diameter) with 2 valves, 8' linear feet, $120
13) 2 Water pump (660 GPH), $ 1,000
14) 2 Aerator pump (Amp draw: 1.8), $80
15) 40 Fish (Channel Catfish), $50
Total Material    $4,585

Tools (Rent) 

1) Forklift (1 day), $ 300
2) Torch (1 day), $ 300
Total Tools    $600


1) Architect (mees architecture), $2,000
2) Installation and Coordination (GrowNYC), $2,000
Total Labor    $4,000

Total Expenses    $9,185


SUBTOTAL = $9,185
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $276

RAISED = $7,665.00
ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $222.23

Revised Budget, 1/9/2015


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