The Fabulous Story of the Jackpot!

Gooooooood Morning SuperForest!

I realized yesterday that I’d never done a video explaining the Jackpot, what it is, and how it works.
So here we go!

The Jackpot is a super-cheap, DIY, hydroponic, indoor garden.

For the full story of the Jackpot, read the following:

Here’s the first post about the Jackpot: Jackson’s Journal (5/14/09) – Hydrodynamics Can Be Vexatious. Here I outline the basic design of the device, and the three main components: the air lift/drip system, the reservoir, and the air pump.

Next, I worked to get the air lift working. Warning: In this video I am pretty tired and keep repeating the word “so”: Jackson’s Journal (5/16/09) – Drinking Straw Water Air Lift Success!
The air lift is a simple device for lifting water. Is is a tube that you pump air into. Submerge the tube in a column of water and the air bubbles will lift the water a good height. That means for very little energy you can move something very heavy straight up, which perfect for drip irrigation. And drip irrigation is perfect for the home gardening enthusiast.

Here’s a quick video of the Jackpot’s bones in action: Jackpot’s Bones

Then the esteemed SuperForester Spoon came to visit me in NY, and his visit totally inspired me to get the prototype done as quickly as possible. So James Michael Spoonhour went out one night to watch a sports thing, and I stayed home to finish the Jackpot, which I did, at like 2:30 AM: The Jackpot: It’s Alive!


The next day I did a recap of the previous nights build session, with some making-of photos:  Jackson’s Journal (5/25/09) – Aloha, Mr. Spoonhour! Aloha, Mr. Jackpot!


SuperForester Spoon left and SuperForester Julius arrived a few days later. Later that week, Julius and I walked the Jackpot over to Eyebeam gallery in Chelsea to show it to Britta and Rebecca from Windowfarms. This was karmically appropriate for a number of reasons, including the fact that the Jackpot had been inspired by an exhibit I’d seen at Eyebeam in 2007 called drinkpee, which Britta and Rebecca had created. Here’s Julius’ wonderful post: Working On Window Farms – The Movie

Helping Out The Window Farmers @Eyebeam from SuperForest on Vimeo.

Man, wasn’t that fun, Julius and James Michael? I had so much fun. Creative collaborating is the best.

Then things got really sexy when I gave a demo at Eyebeam to the Windowfarmers group! Britta and Rebecca then came out with their own amazing version of the Jackpot! Once again the idea improves and can be built upon.


It all began with a fever dream and it ended in a massive idea-sharing group win.

Man, I love the internet and I’m so grateful for this existence.
Thank you to Spoon, Julius, Rebecca, and Britta for all your help and support.

All my best to each and everyone.


3 Responses to “The Fabulous Story of the Jackpot!”

  • Great piece Jackson! I got interested in Hydroponics/Aeroponics a couple of years ago and this has got me fired up again!
    The air lift pump is a great idea – I got bogged down with expensive water pumps before – it was costing way too much (cheaper to buy the herbs I wanted to grow for a couple of years) and I had lost heart.
    I am really in to reusing waste ()not to mention saving money and would like to produce food from air water and sunshine!
    We don’t use bottled water or large plastic containers but what we do have (and throw away) are 1 litre milk containers (polyprop blow moulded) and I want to make an indoor garden with them.
    Tried vertical nesting (windowfarmers style)but the blow moulds are so thin they lose their strength when they are empty, got a single one made and working though (with a cucumber in it)- then tried another tack.
    Got several cartons stacked on their sides, with a hole through the lot (silicone glued together) nutrient goes in the top passes through the holes – this all needs photos to explain… must try and do a blog with it all, Hey I love your attitude too Jackson, keep it there!

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