Project Springtime: grow delicious veggies in your backyard with open-source-style hydroponics

The grocery store isn't as well-filled these days. And who knows who sneezed on the veggies?

Let's grow our own veggies instead. In our backyard, using minimum space and no soil; from easily obtainable parts (hardware store, some on-line orders), using open-source-style instructions for construction and maintenance, this DIY deep-water hydroponics system has room for about 70 plants.

Inspired by somebody else's exhibit at Maker Faire Bay Area last year, I built my own system last summer and extended it once the virus got closer. Everything is documented on Gitlab, and it has its own website https://www.project-springtime.org/ . In the simplest form, it has no electronics, but lately I have added a solar panel, a Pi and an ESP32.

Some of what I grow, and you can, too: lettuce, basil, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, kohlrabi, beans, and various herbs.

In this session, I'll give an overview and, tech gods willing, will give you a live tour. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. Sorry, I can't let you taste :-) but trust me, it tastes better than any veggies I have ever tasted from any source.

What are the problems you aim to help solve with this project?:
Be less dependent on the industrial food supply chain.
Produce, and eat, better veggies than you can from the store.
Learn more about food ... we'll going to need to know about that in the years to come.
And hopfully, collaborate with others to keep improving the system.

What are some of the major challenges you have encountered and how did you address them?:
Major challenges? I knew nothing about growing food. So I read, and read, and copied other people's designs as one should with an open-source mindset. And found bugs, and critters, and pests, because they all like my veggies just as much as I do!

And to give back, I document what I learned, so the next gal or guy can benefit even more than I did from others.

Project Website
Categories: Re-thinking the Future, Energy & Sustainability, Sustainable Living
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