Today, a notable new addition to the ever-expanding realm of wireless automation and monitoring systems geared to prevent chronic blackthumbs from committing accidental horticide and to help tech-savvy seasoned gardeners increase their yields.
Dubbed as the “Modern Farmer’s Almanac,” HarvestGeek is an open-source Internet of Things Greenhouse conceived by hydroponic gardening software engineer Michael Alt of Charlotte, N.C.-based startup Evolved Agriculture. Alt recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help bring his prototype gardening monitoring and automation system, a system that brings brains to the garden while benefiting both the “urban and not-so-urban farmer,” to market. The goal? Alt hopes to raise $25,000 by Feb. 24.
HarvestGeek is your key to unlocking plant yield potential. Here you can upload pictures to chart your progress, make notes on successes or difficulties you've encountered, ask questions, get feedback, research other grow styles, and share your results with the community. Coupled with the analytical data collected from your grow, you'll be presented with a detailed picture of what works and what doesn't when it comes to producing high quality crops.
Initially designed strictly for mushroom cultivation but modified to serve a much greater purpose, the ultimate goal of the project — to make urban and small-scale farming less time consuming and more efficient and cost effective — is both commendable and ambitious.
The core ideal which we believe at HarvestGeek is that the economics of large-scale industrial agriculture is not a sustainable proposition thus the need for efficient, tested and reproducible methods of small-scale food production. We'd like to see communities producing the bulk of their own food. The benefits to this we believe are many.
By empowering the local food movement, communities will benefit from new employment opportunities, money spent on food will stay in the community, fossil fuel use due to food transportation will drop off sharply, impoverished areas access to (healthy) food will increase, and we will be seeding a new generation with an appreciation for food, their health, and their connection to the Earth.