Public Lab Research note

Recap on FarmHack NH 2011

by rjstatic | December 12, 2011 23:06 12 Dec 23:06 | #628 | #628

(This is cross posted from my blog, with a little delay. We have since applied for the grant mentioned and I have become involved in helping the Farm Hack community figure out what they want to do for a documentation site. A questionnaire I'm building to help with that ->

Last weekend I had a great time at FarmHack NH in Lee, VT talking about smart farm technology and my experience with Wireless Sensor Networks. The first day was a tour of a local farm, dinner, and some late night bonfire discussions which I was not able to attend. The second day we met up early at the Grange Hall (interesting history behind these buildings) in Lee, NH and split off into working groups. I joined the "Smart Farm" group which consisted of about 8 people discussing various creative ways that technologies like Arduino ( have been used to solve problems on farms. There was a lot of energy directed towards finding a project to work on together so we settled on tackling alerts for greenhouses. We have a grant application due on December 1 and we're still discussing exactly what kind of set up we're going to go for.


After the working groups, we made presentations on our discussions and ended up spending a lot of time talking about how to continue the conversations online. I think there are a lot of parallels between the NYFC and the PLOTS community ( and there is room to learn from each other and collaborate. Right now the community consists of a blog (, a new forum (, and soon a wiki to record all of the solutions they discuss on the forum. I've been wondering if an Instructables-like feature ( for their site might make more sense than a Wiki. Perhaps even an instructables-like feature combined with wiki functionality. This would add structure and consistency of an instruction set while maintaining the anyone-can-edit mentality of a wiki. The functionality I'm thinking of seems similar to that of Drupal "books", so of course, the wheels in my head are spinning :).


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