Episode-895- Will Bratton and Sam Bagot on Open Source Agriculture

Sam Bagot and Will Bratton are woking togehter on an open source agriculture project called horto domi.   Horto domi is an open hardware raised-bed garden unit with environmental control and monitoring via web-interface thanks to Arduino Ethernet. DIY sensors, such as those collecting moisture and temperature data help monitor the environment within the dome and will eventually be used to automate conditions.

The goal is to grow whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you are. Horto domi is Latin for ‘Garden at home.’ It’s a statement to healthful food independence, a “neo-renaissance” tip of the hat to Arduino, and it sounds like horticultural dome. Particular consideration was taken in this prototype’s design to maximize the mineral and nutrient value of the beyond-organic produce and minimize environmental contamination risks.

Sam and Will are looking for Kickstarter funding that will satisfy all the elements necessary for an open hardware publication per the definition provided by FreedomDefined.org/OSHW. However, with additional funding they will be able to pursue further open source innovation, development and publication. They hope our community will support their idea for using contemporary open technology to achieve relative food independence so that we may all better address the goal of individual and community self sufficiency.

Resources for Today’s Show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

18 Responses to Episode-895- Will Bratton and Sam Bagot on Open Source Agriculture

  1. Wow I never thought I would have heard Arduino uses on tsp. Can’t wait to listen

  2. I am not sure what they are talking about here – is there a prototype?

  3. I found them online – cool stuff! Seems so complex and failure prone though (high tech) that it would take a much larger scale to make all the inputs and complexity (and cost) worthwhile. All the electronics will be breaking often enough that these would be abandoned in short order, stripped down as all systems are eventually to their reliable components. That’s part of the beauty of gardening after all: low-tech, hard to break, reliable, hands on, biological, not technical. I hope this idea is taken to a large community-scale level/urban setting where it could justify the many inputs due to massive outputs possible therein.

  4. Backwoods Engineer

    Cool! Can’t wait to listen; this is right up my alley!

    • Same with my husband. I started laughing when I heard them talking about automating a garden because my husband has been thinking of how to automate a chicken tractor for a year now. I won’t let him. LOL It freaks me out when I think about my portable chicken coop moving on its own in my yard. :)

  5. I have a son who loves to play with arduino boards, keeps telling me I need some. He also loves building with pvc pipe, had to send him a link. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

  6. Are they looking for people to donate there time?

  7. ditchdigger

    direct to you from the Bureau of Information: consuming mass quantitites of fat soluable vitamins and minerals is actually GOOD for you.

    and from the Bureau of MISInformation: it has been proven that the fact that amish farmers that plant a few rows of tobacco plants around their crops DOES NOT in fact repel soil and land based insects and that the occasional naturally grown cigar is actually not bad for you (for further proof look up bill clinton ).

  8. Watched the video. pretty sweet. just makes you wonder what all could be done.

  9. Silicon Valley goes gardening….
    Hydrogen peroxide and pesticides and computers and sensors and…..
    Permaculture?

  10. I’m not familiar with the legality of open sourcing, what’s to stop a company from taking an open source design, patenting it, and then shutting down the open source operation?

    • You can get a creative commons license for open source but at the end of the day there isn’t much of anything stopping a large company from doing what you described. Patent disputes are usually one by whoever has more money and resources. In the world of software there is no shortage of capable people out there who won’t touch open source out of fear that they will be sued.

  11. Question, what about pollination? bees? since it is mostly enclosed?

  12. The sensors is what I see as the tricky part. Not a place where you’d want to be cheap. Moisture, pH etc.

  13. You don’t need to measure your garden pH or moisture with any sensors beyond those you already have – your eyes and hands. Those are extremely sensitive, durable and can measure things a meter can’t.