There is an Internet of farming taking shape that is relying on the same open source approach demonstrated in the Hackerspace community.
First, it is important to know what a Hackerspace is. The video below is a short introduction that explains the background and benefits of open source creativity.
As you will see, while applications are based around computer systems and tech, the real central theme is cooperative invention that sets out to offer solutions to make the planet a source of abundance. Agriculture is a fantastic place to start.
It is this very mentality that has led to magnificent inventions that hold promise for ushering in an age of abundance and self-determination, rather than the paradigm of scarcity and dependence which we are currently experiencing.
Back in August we reported on a novel new solution to combating GMOs and water scarcity through a system called Vi-Aqua, which converts a small amount of electricity to a radio signal that can charge water, leading to an increase in food production and a decrease in resource consumption.
The Vi-Aqua system holds real promise for large-scale agriculture. However, small-scale agriculture is a place where we all can begin to make changes. Current solutions such as aquaponics and aquaculture are fantastic for realizing food production in a limited space and on a limited budget.
A novel idea that takes indoor gardening to the next level is being put forth by creator Chris Beauvois from a Hackerspace in Brooklyn, New York called NYC Resistor. The concept is called aeroponics. Through a system of GrowCubes, they propose efficient indoor growing for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. And the best part? This can be done with 95 percent less water and a built-in resistance to diseases and pests!
GrowCubes grow plants with 95 percent less water than traditional gardening methods by relying on aeroponics. There’s no soil or streaming water involved. Instead, the plants are watered via a fine mist that contains all the nutrients they need. The cubes are also pressurized and lit with UV lights to kill off bacteria, parasites and fungi.
At four feet by four feet, the cubes are about the size of a dishwasher, meaning they could fit in most homes.A software program underpins the system, offering a detailed Internet-connected analysis and customization platform to obtain and fulfill the optimal level of nutrients and maintenance.
Here is a video showing this fascinating new concept.
It doesn't take much imagination to see how this can help offer high production and low cost in urban areas, and other areas susceptible to challenging environmental elements.
For now, the Kickstarter program is focusing on bringing this to single users in 2014, but the hope is that with additional "hacking" the concept can be interconnected to form much larger warehouse operations that could attain a large-scale capacity to serve entire communities:
“That would really be ideal if we were able to partner municipalities and cities to build a large scale integration of GrowCubes. It’s great to have one at home, but it’s great to reap the benefits without having to buy them or take up the space. They’re more practical if we scale the growth for you and you benefit from food delivery weekly,” Beauvois said. “I would love to see adoption by cities like the city of New York or San Francisco or Detroit; cities that don’t produce anywhere near the percentage of the food they consume.”With all of the negatives that one can associate with technology in our modern-day world, this serves as a prime example of how technology can combine with human innovation to offer a level of freedom and self-empowerment that we are only just beginning to imagine.
For more information on Hackerspaces and other projects, please visit Local Org, and/or feel free to share your own experiences in the comment section below. Do you have a project that you would like us to feature? Contact us here.
And for more information about GrowCubes, please visit their Facebook page: