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    Farmer Foodshare: Food Waste, Wholesale & Hunger- Food System Hack

    Farmer Foodshare: Food Waste, Wholesale & Hunger- Food System Hack

    Farmer Foodshare is a food system "hack" to solve the simultaneous problems of farm waste/excess production, farm product marketing and community malnourishment. Farmer Foodshare (the organization) is a nonprofit in NC that created a set of open source approaches and inexpensive tools (marketing, wholesale distribution models) that link excess (or expanded) farm production with people who are in dire need of fresh healthy, food and community nourishment. The FF approach relies on 1) local food producers, 2) farmers markets or online hubs, 3) distribution systems (labor, transport, online, tracking), 4) marketing/communications and 5) institutions willing to use and/or buy the food to integrate into their hunger/nutrition and health programming for underserved communities. (Editor's note: I have various .doc toolkits for the "source code/instructions" for the Donation Stations, Food Ambassadors and POP Market models, if anyone wants them. Also have data on $ to farmers and the costs of running these programs, particularly as the programs grow customers and farmers. I would like to use this Farm Hack posting to spur others to contribute their food security systems innovations.

    Seed Germination/Early Growth Chamber

    Seed Germination/Early Growth Chamber

    A seed germination chamber using a broken upright freezer. I got the idea from DGrover's "Sweat box" Germination Chamber: http://farmhack.net/tools/sweat-box-germination-chamber. I added onto his design by adding lighting, air circulation, a heat source and temperature/humidity gauges. This is a functioning concept that is being tested right now, and there are still issues to work out. Such as preventing excessive temperature and humidity levels as well as other concerns. So far the expense is about $150 (not including cost of freezer), nominal compared with a manufactured growth chamber, thus enabling small farmers/gardeners the ability to reliably start quantities of seeds early and extend their season.

    Farmier

    Farmier

    Farmier is a farmOS hosting service. farmOS is an open source software package for managing a farm's plans and records. Features include Farm Area : Identify your working areas (fields, beds, greenhouses, etc) using point-and-click maps. Farm Crop : List and index the crops you're growing. Farm Log : Keep track of things you've been working on. Record keeping, in other words. Farm Livestock : Keep track of animals and their movements. Farm Equipment : Keep track of farm equipment and maintenance. Farm Soil : Keep track of soil tests and view the soil survey map overlays.

    SEEDS: The Game

    SEEDS: The Game

    IOS, Droid, and Web-based app to teach sustainable farming and gardening techniques through games and social media. Real life challenges in coordination with local seed libraries, community gardens, farmers' markets, and cooperative extensions to document progress and unite farmers and gardeners through citizen science.

    Chicken Coop Sensor

    Chicken Coop Sensor

    This is a wireless, solar powered chicken coop sensor that measures ambient temperature and relative humidity inside of a chicken coop. It is made out of the internals of the soil/garden sensor that I posted here.

    Aerial mapping rigs

    Aerial mapping rigs

    These lightweight rigs hold small cameras (e.g., Canon PowerShots) for lofting by kites or balloons. Vertical photos can be taken at intervals as the rig is moved around a property and high resolution orthophotos can be made by stitching together multiple photos. Normal and/or near infrared photos can be taken, and plant health indices such as NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) can be derived from the photos. Recent, high resolution aerial images can help in documenting land status, tracking changes, and making planning or management decisions. The rigs are designed to be 3D printed, and the 3D models are open source and available for free download on Thingiverse.

    Water flow warning light

    Water flow warning light

    This small gadget uses the water flowing in a pipe or hose to generate electricity to light a small LED to warn that water is being used. We have had a few incidents of forgetting the tap on while it soaks the capillary matting and flooding the garden propagator. The light meant that one can see from a distance that water is flowing. Of course one can change the LED to a small flashing beacon, siren etc. The water generator generates 12v at 3.5w which powers the light. It is a small challenge to change the current to a suitable one for the LED. I managed to convert it using a small 3v voltage regulator and connecting it to a bicycle light. I would have liked it to flash but didn't manage it. I like this gadget because there is no need for sensors or sophisticated switches, it is the use of water which makes the warning light go on. I was also very happy to find these in-line electrical hydro generators. This is my first Farm Hack tool, so feel free to contact me if I am missing any information.

    Oat and Grain Dehuller

    Oat and Grain Dehuller

    REHULLER AND SEED SCARIFIER Designed for hulling and scarifying seed, such as Sweet Clover, Alfalfa, Timothy, etc. It is a very fast working machine, combining simplicity of operation with efficiency and durability. It also does excellent work hulling oats. Its capacity is up to 100 bushels per hour on average run of Sweet Clover Seed. It can be used for breaking dirt or clay lumps so that the dust can be removed by screens.

    Resource List of Useful Apps for Farmers

    Resource List of Useful Apps for Farmers

    Having noticed a proliferation of farm/ foodie apps and services in the online space, a couple of us farmers got together to review the goods, and sort out the junk from the SUPER. Here's an interpreted survey of the scene. As farmers and activists who are deeply committed to both sustainability and innovation, we are happy to find some useful tools on the shelf, and ultimately urge developers to get grounded in the needs of the farmers and eaters, before making another fancy whirly gig.

    Mobile Wash Station

    Mobile Wash Station

    Low-cost DIY, mobile wash station for increasing efficiency in post-harvest processing. Needs exterior hose or spigot to use. The partnership was Elise McMahon, Liam Turkle, Fay Strongin and Tess Brown-Lavoie (both from Sidewalk Ends Farm in Providence, RI). We started working on it at FarmHack RISD and then finished it on 12 May in Providence.