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Introductions

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Information

Hi everyone–
I encourage you all to introduce yourself to the FarmHack community here as your first post.
I am Ben Shute, I run a CSA farm in the Hudson River Valley of NY called Hearty Roots Community Farm.
My connection to FarmHack is through the National Young Farmers' Coalition, of which I am a board member and co-founder. I have been working on getting the FarmHack blog going over the past year and organizing the first round of FarmHack events and workshops.
I'm excited for FarmHack to help me run a better farm as I learn from the ideas and innovations of the wider community of farmers, engineers, designers, and more.
–Ben

Louis's picture

I am Louis Thiery and I like to play with electronics. My first exposure to farming was this summer when I spent 3 months WWOOF'ing in Colorado – I loved the work and the lifestyle but wanted to find a way to integrate my specialized interests and skills.

As I paged through catalogues for farm electronics, I was a little surprised how expensive the devices were. In addition, all the technology was closed and standardized which didn't make sense for small farmers who run idiosyncratic farms and like to tinker with their devices. Thus I decided I'd start working on open-source electronics for farmers, giving myself an opportunity to further my skill set while also attempting to make these technologies more accessible and individualized.

I'm currently living in Milford, NH and working from the Gardenbot.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 11/24/2011]

Adam Lemieux's picture

My name is Adam Lemieux. I am responsible for research and development of tools & supplies at Johnny's. I want to congratulate Ben, Dorn and any others that were involved in launching this forum and also give them kudos for all the work they are doing at Farmhack. I am very excited to finally see people posting ideas in a forum setting like this. I think it is the perfect vehicle to share ideas and feedback. Recently, I had the privilege of spending a couple days with a really great group of industry professionals at the Stone Barns Center with the similar intent of brainstorming scale-appropriate ideas for small commercial growers. We met the day after the Young Farmers Conference and called our meeting the Slow Tools Summit. I posted a trip report on my blog that also has an attached photo gallery. It can be viewed here: http://johnnystooldude.blogspot.com/2011/12/2011-young-farmers-conference-and-slow.html Thanks, Adam.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 12/27/2011]

deeprootsfarm's picture

Hi, My partner Greg Freistadt and I run Deep Roots Farm in Moscow, ID. We are going into our 4th season of marketing farming. We are starting a CSA this season as well as committing to a much larger farmer's market. We have spent several years apprenticing and working on other farms as we experimented with our own farming system. We love to tinker and by the nature of what we do, we make it do or do without. I currently work at the University of Idaho where my supervisor is a Bio & Ag Engineer. I was telling him the other day about Farm Hack and he was very interested in getting some of his colleagues in the Pacific Northwest/Western Canada involved in having a Farm Hack over here on the other coast. Is anyone else working on this already that I can point him towards? Marci Miller <href="Hi, My partner Greg Freistadt and I run Deep Roots Farm in Moscow, ID. We are going into our 4th season of marketing farming. We are starting a CSA this season as well as committing to a much larger farmer's market. We have spent several years apprenticing and working on other farms as we experimented with our own farming system. We love to tinker and by the nature of what we do, we make it do or do without. I currently work at the University of Idaho where my supervisor is a Bio & Ag Engineer. I was telling him the other day about Farm Hack and he was very interested in getting some of his colleagues in the Pacific Northwest/Western Canada involved in having a Farm Hack over here on the other coast. Is anyone else working on this already that I can point him towards? Marci Miller http://www.deep-roots-farm.com

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/2/2012]

Leanna's picture

Hi, I'm Leanna Mulvihill. I'm an intern with the National Young Farmers' Coalition and organized Farmhack@ESF last fall. This May I'll be graduating from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse with a degree in forest engineering. My goal is to learn more about agriculture and bridge the gap between farmers and engineers. This forums looks super useful and exciting. Thank you to everyone who put it together!

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/3/2012]

John's picture

John Steward here at Maple Rock Farm on Orcas Island located in the San Juans of Washington state. We area 5 acre market / CSA farm.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/4/2012]

Jeremy C's picture

Hello, I am Jeremy Conyac. I operate Conyac Brothers Farmstead near Marysville, WA. We raise pasture hogs including Hereford and Gloucestershire Old Spot breeds. I also work as an organic farm inspector.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/10/2012]

GrantSchultz's picture

Hi all! I'm Grant Schultz, a farmer in Iowa.

http://twitter.com/grantschultz

I love using all parts of my brain to create a new food system, and create wonderful farmhacks in the process. I'm working on an Allis G electric conversion, a farmhack greens harvester, emission-free high tunnel tillage (electric tiller that doesn't suck), and other fun things.

Strong in fabrication.

Are you an engineer with 3D modeling expertise? Get in touch, we'll build beautiful things together

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/17/2012]

laurie's picture

Hey Grant, How's progress on the greens harvester? I sure could use one! Laurie

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/12/2012]

GrantSchultz's picture

Laurie - greens harvester is more or less this (before I knew it existed):

http://www.suttonag.com/HarvestStar.html

I''ll have once complete using new components (meat bandsaw frame and harvest cart) for under $800. HarveStar is $10,500

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 3/3/2012]

emilyhanson's picture

Hi there everyone,

I'm Emily, and I'm an urban farmer living in South Minneapolis, MN these days. I'm originally from New Hampshire, but moved to Minnesota for college and accidentally fell in love with the place. Before I graduated last May, I started a small urban farm with some other young folks, and we spent last season farming three vacant lots in residential neighborhoods. We grew veggies for a 17 member CSA and a small farmers' market. It was a good learning year, and three of us from that operation are continuing on next season, merging our farm with two other small urban farms to form a big, new, shiny venture called Stone's Throw Urban Farm. This year, we'll be growing for a 100-member CSA and a larger market, as well as some wholesale accounts. I'm the CSA manager. I attended a Farm Hack event last November when I was visiting my folks in New Hampshire. I really loved the community and thought I could benefit a lot from being around smart, inventive farmer types. I love to farm and want to make it my livelihood for years to come, but mechanics and tools are not my strongest suit, so I'm excited to learn here. I'll also be spending a few hours every week this winter working on filling in this forum with useful information, so you'll see me around here a lot. Cheers!

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/18/2012]

arizonabell's picture

Hello to everyone,

My wife and I have spend many nights talking about starting a small family farm and hope to get started in earnest on this adventure sometime this year. We've talked about moving to many different areas in Oregon with a current emphasis on Southern Oregon as we could likely coax older, less rain tolerant, family members to join us. My wife and I have modest training in farming, but we return to our food system as the most intriguing, pressing and ultimately human activity worth focusing sustained thought upon. I am an architect in Portland, OR. and an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching environmental design. My wife coordinated and taught a garden-based education program and has worked with community gardening programs in Seattle. She is currently raising our two young daughters.

As a architect, I have experience in the design of hospitals, civic buildings and a little experience with animal hospitals/laboratories. Recently I've been focusing on agricultural architecture (mostly as a way to work through all the various ideas about running our own farm). The knowledge of how to grow food resiliently and what such an endeavor requires has been rushing past us for some time now and we're starting to reach out and see where these thoughts lead. There are so many people who have so much to share about the nuts and bolts of this reformation. I would be delighted to play some role in the integration of this knowledge.

In the meantime…I will likely be participating mostly as an observer. Thanks for having me.

Take care, Travis Bell

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/21/2012]

farmerryan's picture

Hi Folks,

My name is Ryan. I'm an urban farmer in Little Rock, AR. I operate the Victory Garden Project, a 0.25 acre ubran micro-farm. I first heard about Farm Hack this weekend at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. My design interest is on tools and systems appropriate for small urban spaces.

Cheers!

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 1/23/2012]

ABetterWayFarm's picture

Hello All! My name is Kathy. I have a small farm in Waynesboro, Virginia in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. My focus is on sustainable farming, being chemical free and getting back to basics. I generally refuse to "buy in" to the "need" for all kinds of expensive things to farm. I do operate on a small scale and I figure if they didn't need it 200 years ago, why would I need it now? I am a free thinker and I am always experimenting and coming up with new, low cost, sustainable solutions to make things easier. My farm named "A Better Way", has many different meanings… a better way of living, a better way of doing things, a better path in this life's journey… :)

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/8/2012]

Brett Peterson's picture

Hi… I'm Brett Peterson, and I'm a co-founder of ProfitableFarmer.com. A couple of us are creating a web-based (and eventually mobile) tool for small farm and market garden management with an emphasis on maximizing farm/garden profitability. Farm Hack strikes me as a great place to learn what small farmers and market gardeners may find helpful in this area.

I live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/9/2012]

laurie's picture

Hey there, My husband and I farm 70 acres in southwest colorado. We are Certified Naturally Grown and grow hay, vegetables, some livestock, chickens, and we have a farm-to-table restaurant in Cortez called The Farm Bistro. Salad greens are our biggest market garden crop, and I'm in search of a small-farm-size mechanical harvester. Any ideas? peace, Laurie

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/12/2012]

misfit's picture

Howdy Y'all.

I live and farm on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with my lovely partner Jeannie. We have some hogs (Tamworth/Razorback), some laying hens (mixed flock) and are in the midst of putting up a hoop house. We are new to having our own farm and are learning and doing a lot right now. We will be planting our first crop soon as well as getting some bees. We have a very low tech approach and are trying to get by without much equipment. We are most likely getting some dairy cows this spring/summer.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/17/2012]

Two Toad Farm's picture

Hello Farm Hackers.. Looking forward to the upcoming season! Willing to collaborate building, designing, fabricating cheap and easy solutions to everyday farming and food production obstacles.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 2/20/2012]

Broadturn's picture

Broadturn Farm is near Portland Maine. ( broadturnfarm.com ) Vegetable and flower farm; certified organic vegetables; about 12 acres in production. Looking forward to following new technology for small scale operations. I've got robots on the brain and I'm wondering why the pieces (all of which certainly exist) have not been put together for a small automated cultivator that runs night and day, eliminating soil compaction, heavy fuel usage, and the drudgery of hand-weeding/tractor driving.

[this comment was migrated from the old Farm Hack Forum, it was originally posted on 3/1/2012]

llewin's picture

Hello all! My name is Joel Hallet, from the newly minted Hallet Family Farm, in Enumclaw, WA. We are just getting started this year with some row cropping and pastured poultry, with much help from the amazing Seattle Tilth Farm Works program.

Really excited about what Farm Hacks is doing, looking forward to learning a lot and paying it forward as time goes by!

RegRooAnne's picture

Hello all,

My experience with appropriate technologies lies more with earthen building and basic water filtration techniques than tractors, but I am excited to learn about hacks of all kinds and contribute where I can. We would like to move in the direction of investing in draft power (most likely horses) as we scale up, so I'd love to connect with folks who have an interest in that…

d.a.'s picture

x

leisa's picture

I'm a maker type and brand new to farming.

I have an electrical engineering degree, but have been doing internet work for so long I'm very rusty. I worked in Silicon Valley for a long time, then took a break in New Orleans where I was involved in starting up the hackerspace Gumbo Labs and got back to doing some electronics and microprocessor work. My partner & I have just bought a house in North Hero, VT on 10 acres used primarily for clover. We would like to turn it into a small farm/homestead. Neither of us have any background so very much in the ramping up the learning stage of this adventure. Looking forward to finding ways to contribute to this space.

Todd Edward Jones's picture

My name is Todd Jones. I grew up gardening in backyards throughout Elmhurst. I've spent some time working on farms but I don't have any experience producing food at scale. Last year I began to offer a personal farming service to homeowners in the western suburbs of Chicago (http://everylastmorsel.tumblr.com/). That concept has since evolved into a tech startup (http://everylastmorsel.com/). Our grand plan is to map food production across the United States and abroad, but we're starting with urban farms and community gardens, specifically those in the Windy City. We'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign soon and I'm hopeful that the site will be ready to launch in May. With a little luck, and a whole lotta help from the farming community, we'd like to scale-up/adapt these tools for use on rural farms. If I can be of any help to you I hope you'll let me know. Drop me a line any time. Thanks for lending me your attention.

AndyF's picture

Hi,

I'm Andy. I have a small certified organic and GAPs certified vegetable and fruit farm in Central NY. We are primarily a CSA farm, but also have a farmstand on the farm and will be selling at one Farmers Market this season.

We like to play in the shop on our farm and have built a variety of tools we use on the farm including several sprayers, a bed flamer, a potato planter, and a hydraulically controlled offset mount for our Rotary One Transplanter.

We also aren't shy about purchasing equipment which can save us time and make some money. One of our best purchases in the last few years was a paperpot transplanter.

One of the projects we are working on this season is automating irrigation in the high tunnels. We'll start with DIG controllers, but ultimately, we are looking at a more sophisticated solution which can run off our farm network.

Before starting the farm, 10 years ago, I worked in manufacturing for 15 years. My educational background is in Materials Science and Industrial Engineering.

AudreyB's picture

My name is Audrey Berman and I am starting an organization called DB CO-OP with some other folks in Brooklyn, NY, where we incubate ideas that revolve around human powered devices (static and mobile) and alternative energies. The process we embody is research / design / prototype. Currently we are working on a family of human-powered devices for a group of urban composters in NYC. These various organizations have reached a limit with the hands tools they are using, and are intersted in scaling up their operation without the use of non-renewable resources. Our goal is to design and fabricate five devices, using these composting operations as our testers, for feedback and critique. Once we are satisfied with our designs, we hope to fabricate small production runs, using re-appropiated and re-used materials when applicable. You can see more of what we are doing here: http://www.dbco-op.org/.

I am also helping to organize the FarmHack Brooklyn slated for November 10th and 11th. Will have more information on that soon!

My interest in sustainable farming started 3 years ago while WWOOFing in Italy and Upstate NY. My experiences on the farms were nothing short of mind blowing, and the daily work was so rewarding and meaningful. The relationships I formed with the commnuties were real, honest, and founded upon common goals and desires to do the hard work that is ultimately going to make our world better in so many ways. I hope to one day have a shared communal farm. And I'm thrilled to be working with Greenhorns!

Ciao, Audrey

mommapie's picture

So I'm new to all this but hello! We live in North West NJ with some goats, rabbits, and too many dogs and cats. My goal for the next few years is to grow most of our own food (including meat) and eventually I'd like to get dairy (a cow, besides goats milk..) I'm also growing most of our own herbs for natural healing. Anyway just discovered this through the Maker Faire yesterday :) Made me happy.

bb123's picture

Hi Everybody, I'm an international research networker (no really, that's my job title) based right now in Switzerland. I grew up on a small family farm in Western New York and have worked in agriculture my whole life. Right now I'm working on an article about farmer driven innovation for Ecology & Farming magazine and would like to share some information and photos from Farm Hack events.

I am also working on a project with NOFA-NY to develop value added small grains for farmers interested in marketing locally. I'm interested in working on designs used for on-farm dehulling, cleaning and milling for on-farm micro- and mini-mills, with an emphasis on keeping the designs low-cost and durable. I'm looking at different mills here in Europe, where the average scale of production is a bit smaller. I'm interested in getting cost data and amortization of the capitalization using net present value analysis. If there are DIY solutions that can help save costs, then I'm very interested.

I also think Farm Hack is a great idea and there's a lot of cool stuff here.

Brian Baker International Research Networker Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Frick, Switzerland

Albert Rogers's picture

John Steward here at Maple Rock Farm on Orcas Island located in the San Juans of Washington state. We area 5 acre market / CSA farm.

nstorrs's picture

Hi, I am working at an urban farm in New York City on Randall's Island. We primarily offer an educational program to young, inner-city students in East Harlem, the South Bronx and Queens. We are trying to expose young people to food production in an effort to encourage good food choices - nutritious, wholesome food from good sources. At the farm we love to experiment alongside the student with DIY project and would love to help the community by reporting back on our successes and failures. --Nick

cghdixon's picture

Hi, A "non-farmer ally' here - an educator and ed researcher who has been involved with ag stuff, bikes, and community organizations over the last handful of years. Am replanting my garden rows in Oakland, CA, and listening in, looking for opportunity to lend a hand. Hope I can find a way to contribute - helping get people together, linking up human and financial resources, develop ideas... just thinking alongside everyone.

jennajane's picture

Hi, I started farming last year in Quebec, Canada and had a big year. I am the founding member of a cooperative farm with 2 other women. I am in charge of machinery and infrastructure here on the farm (among other things). Last year I led the building of a 3000sqft greenhouse, a veggie wash station, a 140 sqft cold room powered by 2 cool bots, a 150 sqft chicken coop and purchased $12k in machinery. I am hoping this year is a bit slower, but have dreams of buying/building a bit more equipment, a bed former, a toolbar with sweeps, building a pedal-powered root washer, and a pedal-powered salad spinner. I am interested in Arduino based projects to control things all over the farm, but especially in the greenhouse.

We run an certified organic CSA, and currently have about 40 laying hens, and raised 2 veal cows last year. We do a 19 week summer season and a 14 week winter season. We are La ferme cooperative aux champs qui chantent (Singing Fields Cooperative Farm).

Does&#039; Leap's picture

Hello:

My wife and I milk 60 goats in Bakersfield, Vermont and process all the milk into certified organic cheese (and kefir). We also make farm-made sausage from our pigs and goats which we grill and sell at the farmer's market. We do most of our farm work with draft horses.

I have enjoyed reading about the various technological inovations employed by all of you ingenious farmers. I look forward to learning and hopefully contributing to this great site.

George

ejsilva's picture

Hello, I am the son of almond and wine grape growers in the central valley of California. I am also a recent graduate of the University of California, Davis, where I studied international agricultural development. I currently work with the Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center (http://entrepreneurship.ucdavis.edu/agtech.php) within the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I also started running a small market farm operation of vegetable in both in my home town and here in Davis. It is a small plot in each location, but promising. With regards to my job and my reasons for being on this site: I want to learn about innovative ways to make our agriculture a system worth sustaining. I think agriculture has a lot of work to do before any part of it can truly be considered "sustainable." But I am hopeful and optimistic, and these reasons have brought me to this site and I hope to interact and learn more from those here. Thank you.

LocalFoodLogic's picture

Hi group, I'm interested in connecting with people who are involved in local food distribution logistics. I have a small business in southwest Colorado called Local Food Logic LLC, and a service called SanJuanFarmFresh.com. I started service last spring with a pickup truck and four coolers, which turned into a flatbed pickup with 14 coolers, and then a 2-ton GMC with a reefer box, and over the last year and a half I've been converting a former Uhaul diesel into a DIY reefer truck, which will be this season's rig. Is anyone out there running or building small reefer trucks who would like to share opinions and facts? Also, I would love to share more details about the process of my reefer truck build somewhere on farmhack. Which sections would be best for this? Thanks a lot and look forward to sharing. Ole Bye

Dorn's picture

Welcome to farm hack! It would be great to see documentation for your reefer truck. The best way to do that would be to start a tool wiki for the project. You can then add documentation as you go, and folks can comment using the related forums attached to the wiki. The tool wiki template is here http://farmhack.net/tools/tool-template - and there are some instructions for the wiki here. http://farmhack.net/tools/farmhacknet

I think there will be a lot of interest in your project!

Joel_BC's picture

Hello to everybody. I'm in the southeast of British Columbia, in a mountain valley almost above Idaho. My little family has a bit over eight acres, and we've been here for years now. We've kept chickens in the past, and may keep them again - none right now. We've got a greenhouse and several veggie/berry garden patches, all organic. A few fruit trees and grape vines, too.

My wife is a professional artist and art instructor, and I've worked in various aspects of the publishing field, mostly for magazines and newspapers. In our early years on the land, I worked also in construction: acquired skills with carpentry, masonry, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc. I've got some small-engine skills, but it's only in the last six years or so that I've acquired welding skills.

Currently especially interested in what can be done with repurposing and upcycling of machine components, junk parts, cast-off household items, scrap materials (etc) in the design and building of useful structures and equipment. Interested in this especially re: the practicalities of food production, energy-production, energy-efficient buildings, etc.

Recourcefulness is always important, but maybe especially so during an economic time that is stagnant or contractive.

MI Green Thumb's picture

Hi everyone! My name is Missy, I'm the owner and CSA Manager of a small 30 acre farm and orchard in Michigan. We use natural and orgainc practices in our farming. We have about 300 apple and pear trees and just over a half acre in veggie production. This year we started growing our own grain and hay for our animals and are looking into becoming a horse powered farm. We raise mostly herirtage livestock and heirloom veggies. Last winter we started growing year round and selling to restaurants and this year we hope to add a high tunnel to increese our winter growing possibilities. I look forward to all the great ideas on farmhack and hope to use a few of them.

Xeromaru's picture

Hey friends. I'm Joshua, recently moved into my own place with 5 acres after many years of plotting what to do with my life. I'm currently an I.T. tech but the stress is killing me slowly. I decided I need to do something more healthy and less stressful so I bought my current place and after almost a year of making it livable I'm soon to start working on my small farming projects. I'll be using my techie knowledge to automate and integrate as much of the process with technology as I can, for ease of use reasons. (I live alone and have a degenerative muscle disorder) I plan also to set up a grid-tied solar/wind power system that fully covers all my power use and more. The land I purchased is terrible for normal farming but I'm going to make it work. Its fill of ravines and hills and woody areas, but there are some places that I can still use. I will be building, starting in the spring, a medium hoop house for my first greenhouse aquaponics system. It will have the usual starting plants like Kale, strawberries, and zucchini. The fish I plan to use are of course tilapia, I cant get enough of them, so yummy. I plan to start the hoop house on top of my current well house since its falling apart, has electricity already ran to it, and will be the water source. Once I get a small 50x20-ish area started I'll expand from there. I also have about 2 acres of relatively flat ground, about an acre in 2 separate places. One will be a bamboo nursery growing as many types of bamboo that will grow in this climate, and the second area will be a timber bamboo grove. I've already started collecting bamboos which will be growing in these 4' wide BigBagBeds I've found online until I get the grove area flattened and cleared better and a nice trench dug on the perimeter so my neighbors don't shoot me in the face if the bamboo escaped. This will also help prevent further erosion of the area that started after the previous owner built a shabby pond. This patch of nature is rough and I'm trying my best to work with it instead of ravaging it. Wish me luck. :p

harpswellmakers's picture

Hello, My name is Andrew Jawitz and I am the Brigade Captain of Code for Maine (code4maine.org) a local affiliate of Code for America. I am also the planner/coordinator of a new hackerspace at the Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell Maine. I am interested in connecting the (primarily software-oriented) Civic Hacking world with the DIY/Maker movement while also finding new ways to leverage rural assets through open source innovation. I have a profile on publiclab.org where I have been working on related work- http://publiclab.org/profile/code4maine I am currently interested in indoor gardening techniques using inexpensive sensors and Red/Blue LEDs.

Joel_BC's picture

Hello, Andrew. Interesting area you're experimenting in.

I feel a little behind in understanding just what the current understanding is, regarding plant development and red or blue light. Your post implies that a certain amount is already known with reasonable confidence, when you wrote: "Usage of LEDs in indoor horticulture has grown substantially in the past year alone. However, the vast majority of commercial LEDs appear to simply try to replicate the features of a more traditonal lighting source rather than truly using the new medium to its potential. ... LEDs do indeed require far less energy in the long term and put off much less heat than traditional lighting sources but the true advantages have yet to be realized in my personal opinion."

Where (on the web) can we find abstracts of studies, or synopsis discussions, or video posts that communicate just what is currently known about the effects of portions of the spectrum (e.g., red or blue) on plant development? I've been disappointed in what my own Google searching has turned up.

Would you be kind enough to suggest a few links?

I wish you the best in your continued research.

harpswellmakers's picture

No problem!

  • This is the article that initially piqued my interest.
  • and this press release from Purdue includes an abstract from a full study
  • This article yields less information but still echoes the same sentiment-

    Of course most of these write-ups are more applicable to large-scale, commercial farming. My interest is in potential uses for the technique in small-scale home setups. To this end, there have been a few tutorials on Instructables.com compiled in this collection

    All that said, my own knowledge of this technique is very much on the level of curiosity.LAst year I did build an early-stage prototype hydroponic controller using a Raspberry Pi connected to several Arduinos monitoring ph, ec, water current and simple on/off control of the lighting. Recently, I stumbled upon the above mentioned references in the process of putting together this research note over on publiclab.org wherein I was attempting to apply their IR plant imaging technique to indoor gardens. This grew into another conversation about an open-source, web-controllable high powered RGB LED board called the Visualight. I was thinking of adding these new LED experiments into the hydro-controller I began last year, though early sketches are revealing an almost entirely new set-up replacing the Raspberry Pi with an Open-WRT base station and deploying a series of "Arduino Leonardo"-based microcontrollers for each sensor. The reason for this change is the new Bridge library developed for the Arduino Yun allows for direct communication between an OpenWRT router and Arduino Leonardo-based boards such as the "Visualight" and the impressive LeoPhi.ph sensor I'm thinking of putting together a research wiki to track development of the full controller but I figured I should put together a wiki for the Red/Blue LED research first. I still need to add a lot more but your welcome to take a look at- http://farmhack.net/wiki/open-source-pink-gardening-using-redblue-leds-indoor-plant-growth

    Please feel welcome to add anything or comment to the wiki if you'd like. In any case I'm interested to hear what you and other folks think.

Ruben's picture

My name is Ruben, I was born in '85 and I'm a four year resident at Windward, a well seasoned intentional community in rural Washington. We are a research and education cooperative for sustainable living. We raise live stock for meat, eggs, dairy, and fertilizer. We grow our own food and teach permaculture workshops to help others do the same. On the more controversial side, we're also part of a larger, environmentally conscientious, poly-amorous, ecosexual, sex-positive subculture that is emerging all over the PNW. You can find out more about Windward & ecosexuality at windward.org and ecosexconvergence.org

More about my self: I grew up, went to school and worked in Switzerland until 2009. My areas of expertise include electronics engineering and computer science. I also dabble in videography and graphic design, and I am generally interested in the creative work involved in marketing and PR . These days I spend a lot of my time in community as part of a team working on one of our more ambitious endeavors: the Biomass 2 Methanol Project, B2M for short. B2M aims to make the conversion of woody biomass (like logging slash and agricultural waste) into methanol a practical technology to be deployed on a village scale: for farmers and rural communities. Methanol can be used as a liquid fuel, in some cases even as a substitute for gasoline, and help ease dependence on fossil fuels as we head into an uncertain future. More about B2M: biomass2methanol.org

I found out about Farm Hack from a friend who sent me the link to your new video. Great job! My hope is that Farm Hack will be a good avenue to connect with more like minded people, to inspire and be inspired: an online community to complement my offline life. I hope I'll find useful things to contribute as I get to know you all better. If you're interested in learning more about something I mentioned here, shoot me a message. I'm happy to try and answer any question you might have.

R.J. Steinert's picture

Welcome to the community Ruben. Since you are from a CS background, if you are interested in environmental monitoring check out the Fido project. I'm also helping to build the Apitronics Hive which we'll be posting documentation on any day now.

  • RJ
Ruben's picture

Apitronix and Fido look awesome! A year ago I was working on something very similar to Apitronix called The Ship's Log, but I've put the project on hold after some priorities shifted. Apitronix seems like a great way to get the results we were looking for without having to develop in-house. I look forward to learning more about it!

user1's picture

The Ship's Log looks awesome, you should definitely post about that on the Fido forum.

betterbunches's picture

It was our first warm day this year, and as I lay in bed thinking about the angle of the sun and whether I could keep snoozing or had to get up, I decided to engage in my perennial pastime of dreaming about ways to automate some greenhouse vents. Now don't worry about helping me out with this, I think I've already got a dozen potential solutions lined up, but I'm excited to keep up with what's going on here on Farm Hack. Maybe someday I'll have something to add here too, but most of the time my homegrown solutions prrooobably don't warrant reproduction - let alone the label of "hacks". Hoping to avoid a few mistakes by watching everybody else for now!

R.J. Steinert's picture

Would a Fido make sense for your needs? The current design wont open the vent for you but it will text message you when to get up and open those vents manually.

geoffm's picture

Hi, I'm Geoff Menard, I work at an organic extension center as an agricultural economist in the canadian province of Quebec. I work on marketing, communication, farm management and projects supporting local food systems. A local farmer, Jean-Martin Fortier, called me to take part of organising a farm hack event so I started networking with a bunch of people out here in eastern Canada to build a farm hack community and organise events. My personnal skills and interests are horticulture, permaculture and IT's. Looking forward to meeting new people and creating synergies.

jennajane's picture

Hi Geoff, welcome to Farm Hack, I am part of a cooperative organic mixed farm near Lachute, QC. I am interested in participating / organizing Farm Hack events out here. Do you have info on the event coming up in May at Jean-Martin's farm?

Francis4344's picture

Bonjour!

My wife and I own an 6 hectares orchard in Oka (Québec). We will be certified this year on time for the 2014 harvest season (or so we hope!).

In 2013, we open the orchard to self pickers and it was a resounding success! People were very happy to finally have an organic orchard near Montreal. It was very encouraging especially since 2013 turned out to be a mild disaster (bad apple scab year, problems selling some apple varieties).

Thank God I can weld and fix things! Spraying an orchard is VERY time sensitive. If your equipment fails, you are in a BIG hurry to get back on track!

I make my own insecticidial soap and my own Lime sulfur mix.

I plan to make the triangle quick-attach hitch soon.

Very happy to have found this website!

Francis