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Growing Food With Open Source (Sarah Sharp)


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Open source folks are naturally lazy. Anything mundane task they can automate, they will. So what does an open source developer do when faced with planning, planting, and tediously watering a garden? Automate!

Lazy hackers will appreciate the Garduino, an open hardware Arduino to automatically water your garden and tweet at you when your plants are thirsty. Want a frost alert on your android phone so you know to cover your precious tomato starts? How about a tool that tells you when to start seeds, when plants will be harvested, and whether you’re going to have too much lettuce in July? (Automatic seed planter not included.)

Come discover open source tools for all types of garden hackers.

Published in: Technology
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Growing Food With Open Source (Sarah Sharp)

  1. 1. Growing Foodwith Open Source OSCON 2011 Sarah Sharp @sarahsharp
  2. 2. Hello!
  3. 3. ✔ Linux Kernel hacker
  4. 4. ✔ Gardener
  5. 5. Im still a lazy hacker
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Problem #1: Scheduling
  8. 8. Garden Calendar tool● 904 lines of C● Object oriented representation of plants● Takes a CSV file for input ● 11 magic fields ● not all are requiredoregon spring tomatoes,1,7,3,2010-04-13,0,75,.80,6,14,0
  9. 9. Garden Calendar tool: Phase I● Started Feb 21, 2010● Plain text output on Mar 7, 2010
  10. 10. Issues with Phase I● Worked pretty well● Seed germination rates are optimistic!● Often forgotten● No integration with other calendaring tools
  11. 11. Garden Calendar tool: Phase II● Goal: output iCalendar and integrate with google calendar.● Issues: RFC 2445
  12. 12. Issues with Phase II● Google calendar update lag● Really should be a todo list ● Integration with Remember The Milk? ● Need an easy way to defer tasks● Web front end?● Storage for users
  13. 13. Problem #2: Frost
  14. 14. How Frost Works
  15. 15. How Gardeners deal with frost
  16. 16. Dealing with Spring Weather: “Cold Snaps” Data Source:, Portland, Oregon, USA, April 2010
  17. 17. Lazy Hacker: Polling vs. Interrupts
  18. 18. Search for the Perfect Android App● Need an alert for frosts● Alert must be timely● Nice: open source app Weather Checker
  19. 19. Search for the Perfect Android App● Need an alert for frosts● Alert must be timely● Nice: open source app Weather Checker● Alerts too often● Alerts at the wrong time● “average” temperature?
  20. 20. DIY
  21. 21. “You may not use the Wunderground Data Feed for use in a mobileapplication for mass distribution, even ifthere is no monetary cost for the mobile application.”
  22. 22. Open Government Data● NOAA weather data● No history, only future predictions● Only for the United States● SOAP interface that returns XML
  23. 23. Garden Weather Alert
  24. 24. Garden Weather Alert TODO● Add a background task for alerts● Alert on hail, wind, extreme heat● Use GPS coordinates● Support international locations● Options for °F vs. °C
  25. 25. Automatic Watering with Arduinos
  26. 26. Garduino: Gardening + Arduino ● Automatically waters your plants based on soil moisture ● Good tutorial on instructables.com
  27. 27. Soil Moisture Sensor
  28. 28. Soil Moisture Sensor Science V=I*RR = infinite ohms R is finiteI = 0 amps I > 0 ampsV = 0 volts V > 0 volts
  29. 29. Garduino Step 1:Build Soil Moisture Sensors
  30. 30. Garduino Step 2:Hello Blinky LEDs
  31. 31. Garduino Step 2:Hello Blinky LEDs
  32. 32. Garduino Step 2:Hello Blinky LEDs
  33. 33. Garduino Step 3:Hello digital output
  34. 34. Garduino Step 4:Set up watering system
  35. 35. Garduino Step 4:Set up watering system
  36. 36. Garduino Step 5: Calibrate System● Soil moisture sensor takes a while to react● Need Arduino code to: ● Limit how often the pump runs ● Dont water more often than N seconds● Issues: ● No RTC on the Arduino ● Use milliseconds from start● ~80 lines of code (with detailed comments)
  37. 37. Final GarduinoArduino wall power soil power moisture tail sensor switch
  38. 38. Garduino Demo
  39. 39. Whats next?● Wireless communication ● JeeNodes - $22 kit● Finish irrigation system
  40. 40. Want get involved?●●● Twitter/Identica: @gardengeekery
  41. 41. Thank you!