Article: No green thumb required: Open-source robots can now grow a small farm for you

Food, Open Provisioning

No green thumb required: Open-source robots can now grow a small farm for you

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own fruits and veggies but could never quite make the time for it — technology is here to rescue you. At first glance, technology and farming don’t go hand in hand, but that’s old school thinking. In this day and age, technology and farming are a perfect match. With cheap sensors, simple phone apps, and available equipment, you can build your very own farming robot.

Give it power, water, and WiFi, and it will take care of the rest. FarmBot can plant, water, weed, and monitor the soil and plants with an array of sensors. All you need to do is harvest the produce once it’s done.

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Article: The future of farming could be based on Linux

Food, Open Provisioning

The future of farming could be based on Linux

The Linux Foundation has just launched an open source digital infrastructure project specifically designed to tackle the challenges of the global agriculture sector. The AgStack Foundation looks to promote collaboration among all key stakeholders in the global agriculture ecosystem, including private business, governments, and academia.

It also hopes to build free and open digital infrastructure for data and applications tailored to enhance the efficiency of agriculture across the world. “The global Agriculture ecosystem desperately needs a digital makeover. There is too much loss of productivity and innovation due to the absence of re-usable tools and data…. AgStack will help every stakeholder in global agriculture with free and open digital tools and data,” said Sumer Johal, Executive Director of AgStack.

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Article: Linux Foundation launches open source agriculture infrastructure project

Food, Open Provisioning

Linux Foundation launches open source agriculture infrastructure project

The Linux Foundation has lifted the lid on a new open source digital infrastructure project aimed at the agriculture industry. The AgStack Foundation, as the new project will be known, is designed to foster collaboration among all key stakeholders in the global agriculture space, spanning private business, governments, and academia.

As with just about every other industry in recent years, there has been a growing digital transformation across the agriculture sector that has ushered in new connected devices for farmers and myriad AI and automated tools to optimize crop growth and circumvent critical obstacles, such as labor shortages.

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Article: When ICTs meet agriculture: Connected melon farmers bear fruit

Cities, Food, Innovation, Open Provisioning, Open Space

When ICTs meet agriculture: Connected melon farmers bear fruit

The sun is rising on a Japanese rooftop fragrant with muskmelons. Amid the greenery, a network of monitors and sensors pulsates reassuringly. The idyllic, glass-enclosed roofscape provides a real-life platform for digital agriculture – one of many applications with the potential to feed smart cities of the future. But before this verdant vision can become reality, certain enabling conditions must be in place.

Current methods of smart city governance are challenged with huge volumes of accumulated data and fragmented “islands” of information and services increasingly straining the limits of operational management

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Article: HECTAR offers free design plans for open source hydroponics unit

Food, Open Provisioning

HECTAR offers free design plans for open source hydroponics unit

Described as an open-source hydroponics unit, the HECTAR vertical farm is designed especially for interiors to help more people grow healthy food from home. Sponsored by multinational technology company Huawei, the unit is inspired by open-source electronic and 3D-printing companies.

Open-source describes a type of computer softwarethat’s released under a special license made to be accessible to the public. HECTAR has since been selected as one of 25 companies in the Imperial College Venture Catalyst Accelerator, a competition for local entrepreneurs.

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Article: Call for Code Global Challenge 2021: How innovators can help combat climate change with IBM’s open source-powered technology

Energy, Food, Innovation, Open Provisioning, Open Space, Water

Call for Code Global Challenge 2021: How innovators can help combat climate change with IBM’s open source-powered technology

Over the last 130 years, the temperature of the planet Earth has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius, and each passing decade over the last 30 years has been warmer than the previous decade. Climate change is considered to be one of the gravest threats that the planet is facing today. Its effect on weather events, sea levels, and human health and natural ecosystems are already being felt across the world and has spurred a dialogue about the way forward.

While the startup ecosystem has been leveraging technology and innovation over the past few years to build impactful solutions, there’s a long way to go. To that end, the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge aims to galvanise use of innovation to discover potential solutions which can mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.

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Article: A New Open-Source Farming Robot Takes Shape

Food, Open Provisioning, Open Source

A New Open-Source Farming Robot Takes Shape

The world of automated farming may be an unglamorous one to those not invested in its attractions, but like the robots themselves that quietly get on in the background with tending crops, those who follow that path spend many seasons refining their designs.

The Acorn is a newly-open-sourced robot from Twisted Fields, a Californian research farm, and it provides a fascinating look at the progress of a farming robot design from germination onwards.

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Article: Plant breeders test drive first open-source seed bank

Access, Food, Open Decision-Support, Open Provisioning

Plant breeders test drive first open-source seed bank

Two German plant breeders this April released newly developed tomato and wheat varieties under open-source licenses. The breeders, Göttingen University’s Bernd Horneburg and his team, and Dottenfelderhof researcher Hartmut Spieß, issued the licenses to encourage other scientists and breeders to experiment and improve these plants varieties under a legal framework.

Under the OpenSourceSeed initiative, agricultural scientists can access open-source seeds, by paying a small fee to cover maintenance breeding and delivery costs. They are then allowed to “use the seeds in multiple ways,” according to the open-source license. But should users develop subsequent varieties, they are not allowed to issue patents on them, and instead must agree to release them under the original open-source license.

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Article: German researchers release open-source tomato and wheat seeds to boost research

Access, Document, Food, Open Decision-Support, Open Provisioning, Research

German researchers release open-source tomato and wheat seeds to boost research

Breeders from the Göttingen University and Dottenfelderhof agricultural school in Bad Vilbel, Germany, have released new varieties of tomato and wheat seeds. The catch? They’re free for anyone to use, ever, as long as the products of their work remain free to use. In essence, these are open-source seeds.

I think we’ve all, at one point or another, had to bump heads with the sprawling world of intellectual property and copyright licensing. That being said, I don’t think many of us imagined that licensing is a problem farmers and plant breeders also have to face — but they do.

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Article: Open Sauce/Source for the Food Revolution

Food, Open Provisioning

Open Sauce/Source for the Food Revolution

We can’t get around it, so we’ll say it upfront. Food is essential to life. What’s more, ensuring open access to the resources, knowledge, and land we need to feed ourselves is political. In opposition to corporate control and intellectual property, we need systems and processes which emphasize sharing and collaboration for food systems work.

A movement of practitioners is emerging who are applying Open Source philosophy to food systems work. Our goal in this article is to recognize the power of this fledgling movement and to highlight some of the people and organizations who are using Open Source for food.

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