Change in Direction

Osiyo. Dohiju? Hey, welcome back.

Before about 3 weeks ago – almost 4 weeks ago now – I was working on articles and vlog entries about writing. My direction has shifted quite a bit. The more the family has been at the house the more structured we are. Everyone is on the same schedule each day. We make sure that we stick to that schedule because there’s really no way to determine when work/school begins and ends. Maybe I’ll have a future blog about our schedule and how that works.

Right now, though, I am going to talk about my change in direction. For a couple years, I’ve been working on an open source solution for home gardening. One that uses one or more Raspberry Pi to monitor crops either in soil, hydroponic, aeroponic, or tray, is managed via an app or a local site, and will alert you to things you need to know about the crops.

I started this project a few years ago for growing some vegetables at home with the intent that when Missouri legalized pot there’d be an interest. There are a lot of commercial products out there for this type of thing so I abandoned the pot direction. However, the remainder of the project is applicable for almost all other growing.

Over the next few weeks all of the new parts will arrive. I’ll be showing you the parts I ordered, how to assemble them, and setting up the Raspberry Pi, plugging it all together, etc. My goal is to make this as inexpensive as possible, user-friendly (meaning no coding needed), and open to the world so anyone can use it. There are several open source projects out already and have been for a while. They are good and you can certainly check them out. I’m improving off of each one. I’ll outline the entire documentation process of this project, with use cases, testing done, etc. When this is done you should be able to set up your own automated gardening system for indoor or limited outdoor use and expand the system to manage a small grow system or many grow systems.

I’ve been excited about this project since I started it – i’ve used it to grow microgreens and limited hydroponic crops like butter lettuce during the testing. My goal with inexpensive is to make all of the components less than 100 bucks to start – Raspberry Pi, tubing, reservoir, nozzles, pots, pumps, everything. I’ve been able to do that. Prices have gone up a little, but we’ll see how close we can remain to that for one kit.

I will have different items available to purchase – such as SD cards prebuilt with all of the code installed, tubing, nozzles, full kits ready to plug in to the wall and minimal assembly to get up and running. I’ll have some seeds available for the different grows: microgreens, sprouts, lettuce, and more. Not many seeds, but as many as I can get and they’ll be a good deal.

So much coming up in the near future.

Dodadagohvi. Until we meet again.

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