The Farmer’s what? Almanac? What’s that?
With all the information of the world so readily available, sometimes it’s difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. Such was the experience of Rory Aronson, a mechanical engineer and social entrepreneur. He has an avid interest in farming, having designed the FarmBot, an automated farming machine that can prepare soil, seed, water, fertilize, and weed. He found himself spending a great deal of time researching plants and information of farming practices, often finding contradictory and confusing answers to his questions.
He decided to do something about it.
Using Wikipedia as a model, Aronson is putting together a free and open database called OpenFarm in which
“…the data is free for everyone to access and anyone can contribute content. Because people grow plants differently based on environmental conditions and growing practices, OpenFarm provides a framework for everyone to share their story, and for learners to find the best, most relevant content.”
The site will contain Growing Guides for specific plants and environmental conditions. The guides will be very detailed with photographs, which are so incredibly helpful when gardening. (“Oh! So that’s what it’s supposed to look like!” or “What IS that growing in my backyard?”)
This idea couldn’t come at a better time.
More and more people are venturing into the land of urban gardens in an effort to source their own food. Any amount of space is big enough to grow a little herb garden or a few potted tomatoes.
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In spite of attack by some local governments, many people are looking to expand their home gardens, to provide themselves with greater food security, save money, and live more sustainably. Collecting rainwater, raising a few chickens, and planting vegetables and berries used to be the norm; in some places it’s become a crime.
Innovations in farming are blossoming as fears of world food shortages and the quality of mass-produced food are spreading. Helping you help yourself is one of the things that makes the electronic age wonderful. Expert advice on a wide variety of gardening and farming topics all in one place is needed and welcome.
For those of us willing to risk it.