Mike Schropp took donated computer parts and built a computer with a mini garden on top of its case. It’s actually a working computer, and yes, it grows wheatgrass. “I can’t exactly recall when the idea came to me, but at some point I started wanting to use the heat from a computer as a way to warm the soil and help with germination,” Mike said. Mike considered wheatgrass as a plant option because it’s natural and looks clean. But to do that, finding a computer for the project was at the top of the list. Luckily he had a bunch of donated computers in his room. So he cobbled together various components from a bunch of different old computers to assemble a suitable working computer.


Basically the computer hardware parts that he used included a Pentium 4 processor, 2 GB RAM sticks, a Maxtor 120 GB hard drive, a Dell motherboard, an old FPS power supply and a donated computer case. Mike said that the Pentium 4 CPU has a reputation for running hot and that he is planning to put that extra heat to good use. After working on the hardware and the layout on the case, he added a base and four tubes for the grass and the soil. Basically, the heat from the computer will warm the soil and aid its germination.

The growing grass brings a bit of nature into a sterile, artificial workplace. Mike plans on experimenting with other plants, even flowers someday. “For the computer itself I ended up installing Windows as well as Linux in a dual boot setup. Since the computer was going to be used by my son as something to play with I figured I should put both on there so he can tinker with them and learn as he goes,” Mike proudly said. If you’re in for a DIY project this weekend, you can check out how he exactly did it via his website.

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