Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Computer-aided gardening

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Fascinating story by Brian Merchant in Motherboard:

Between lab burgers, Soylent, and iPhone-controlled hydroponic greenhouses, it’s an interesting moment for what its evangelists call foodtech (of course).

Most of the innovations are focused on concocting new kinds of food, though; nutrient blends, synthetic meats, and so forth. Innovative consumer technology actually designed to improve the growing of foods we’ve already got access too is still relatively scarce, which is why the Seedsheet caught my attention.

As per its name, it’s essentially a seed-loaded sheet that prospective growers can fully customize online in a ‘virtual garden’ before ordering. Seedsheet HQ then prints the sheet to spec, and sends it to your doorstep. All you have to do then is prep the soil, lay the sheet in the dirt, and water away. The company claims the product eliminates the need for seed selection, planting—and for weeding.

Seedsheet the brainchild of a new Vermont-based company called Cloudfarm, and its Kickstarter crowdfunding effort launches today.

According to the company, users will access a “software program that provides users the ability to build their own virtual garden, based on a comprehensive algorithm that takes the guesswork out of gardening. Users input their existing garden dimensions, identify their plant hardiness zone via zip code, and then using a simple drag-drop interface, select which vegetables, fruits, and herbs they wish to grow and arrange them on their virtual garden.”

Cameron MacKugler, Cloudfarm’s founder and CEO, calls it “an agricultural paint-by-numbers.”

“The idea came to me while I was ‘house’ sitting a couple of summers ago for a co-worker,” MacKugler told me in an email. “Since this was Vermont, the house was an 80-acre dairy farm, and had a stable full of animals and a prolific garden. I was paid in access to the garden, and I got my monies worth. One day while harvesting I had a sort of ‘AHA moment’, when the realization hit me that I loved having access to such an abundance of produce, but being a recent college grad with no money, small apartment, and a busy schedule, I had no ability to grow my own. I wondered how I could simplify the process of gardening, so that anybody could grow their own delicious food.” . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 November 2014 at 9:31 am

Posted in Food, Technology

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