Autonomous Community Gardening
Autonomous Community Gardening
WiseTribe hosted our first community conversation on the subject of food in March 2017, and at the end, we watched a video about FarmBot. With everyone so jazzed about it, we started sharing it with the Meatless Monday kids and children from Delray Students First, who became very excited at the prospect of FarmBot as well. We declared that we would bring one to Delray in May 2017, and with the help of local artists we hosted a community fundraiser in June which raised the funds to procure our first FarmBot.
Thanks to Purgreens, a steadfast sponsor of our Community Food Solutions initiatives, we were able to bring two more FarmBots to Delray Beach in order to expand educational exposure to this technology. One has already been installed at the Cason Community Garden, located behind Cason United Methodist Church in Delray Beach. The second is currently being installed in the central courtyard at Carver Middle School, and has been constructed by members of Carver’s own Robotics Club. The third is slated for installation at the Spady Museum in Q2 2018.
Designed to be installed in a family backyard, FarmBot is capable of repeatedly and autonomously seeding, watering, weeding, and sampling the soil of a garden bed over the course of an entire season. In short, it is designed to take the hard work out of gardening for busy families, allowing them to simply harvest their own food at dinnertime. Despite the initial cost of a FarmBot, the financial and environmental savings when compared to purchasing produce from supermarkets shows that it pays for itself in about 2 to 3 growing seasons. Moreover, the locally-grown food that it produces is of much higher quality, since it hasn’t trekked thousands of miles to reach the consumer, and can be grown organically in a cost-effective manner. There’s nothing quite like the taste of vine-ripened vegetables that traveled only 10 feet from “farm” to fork!
Our coinciding mission is to provide educational exposure to the converging fields of personal technology, robotics, and food production. The kids who have had a chance to work on its construction are being exposed to many subjects relevant to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM), including but not limited to:
robotic design, production, and assembly methods and standards,
motor, drive, and control systems used in many types of industrial machines,
electronics and logic programming,
internet and server control integration, and
agriculture methods with a consideration to automation.
The list goes on and on, and we hope that the coming years will provide the opportunity for FarmBot to demonstrate to our community both the need for local food production as well as ways that technology can assist us in achieving these goals efficiently, easily, and enjoyably. Come out and visit your friendly neighborhood FarmBot today. We promise, it’s very friendly, and it might even give you some locally-grown treats to take home!
(Click the “box” icon to view presentations in fullscreen mode)
(Originally produced for Carver Middle School Robotics Club)