If you are a garden newbie like me, you probably notice the lack of relevant, well organized online information about growing your own stuff. It’s immensely rewarding to grow your own organic fresh veggies, fruits, and any other plants but also very frustrating when you get things wrong and end up with a poor barren soil instead of the luxurious garden of your dreams…This is where Open Farm – and Farm Bot, can revolutionize the way we do small scale farming.
From FarmBot to OpenFarm
Rory Landon Aronson is a mechanical engineer and social entrepreneur who created the open source project FarmBot, an automated precision farming machine scalable and modular that can be use for multiple applications. From small raised beds, to retrofitted greenhouses, to urban rooftops, to commercial and industrial applications, Farm Bot aims to offer a smart alternative to classic farming methods by making automated polyculture possible for anyone. In other words, FarmBot is an ”at home automated food production machine” which is allowing individuals to have control over the process of growing their own food. Bye bye pesticides and unethical supermarkets, for those who have the will and space to grow things.
So OpenFarm naturally sprouted from Rory’s fertile mind after having launching the FarmBot project. Rory says on his blog ‘‘ The Idea of OpenFarm came out of the need for FarmBot to access structured, detailed data for how to grow a plant in a specific environment with specific growing practices […] We then figured that if we were to build such a database, it should not be exclusive for FarmBot users, but accessible by anyone”. The idea of a Wikipedia for farming and gardening was born and launched as an independent project on Kickstarter.
OpenFarm will teach anyone to grow anything
The science of farming and gardening is already available online, but it is quite difficult to find the proper information needed based on one’s specific environmental conditions. I am from Europe and now live in Australia, and I can tell you I am completely confused when it comes to know what and how to plant and grow here. Of course, books and local gardening stores are helpful too – but that would so much cooler to have most of the information at click distance. I believe it could also encourage people who are mildly interested in growing their own fruits and veggies but not enough to go through the hassle of getting the right information, to do the big jump.
Like Wikipedia, OpenFarm is open source and anyone can contribute content and share their experience to gardening noobs. By growing our own garden and restoring native habitats (growing the right native plants is providing a better conducive for local wildlife!) we are doing a big step towards a sustainable future. For now OpenFarm website needs to have further development and funds to provide a proper platform, so let’s back it up and make it happen!!
Watch the KickStarter introduction video