Abstract

The DigIt project goal is to develop a website that can be a tool to help people garden in the empty lots throughout the Philadelphia area. By taking in certain inputs such as the size of the land, the time people are willing to commit, and preferences towards crops, the tool will provide a plan showing how many seeds to purchase and when to plant the seeds. Depending on whether the user wants to maximize profit or nutritional yield the model will follow different constraints to maximize the user's choice.

Inspiration

Currently, grocery markets charge a high price for healthy nutritional produce. As a result, many low income families are unable to get a balanced and nutritional diet, leading to other unhealthy alternatives that could be physically damaging in the future. Simultaneously, there are also a lot of open lots throughout Philadelphia that are not being used. Current research and past efforts suggest that by using empty lost to generate produce, many low income households would be able to purchase produce at a cheaper price. By studying past efforts and examining the reasons for failure, it is possible to create a better system that is able to solve the known difficulties. Our proposed solution is worth trying not only because of the overwhelming benefits it provides to society, but also because the project considers possibilities that were not considered for previous efforts. Ultimately, DigIt will solve the problem of costly nutritional produce by providing an application that gives step by step instructions to farming based off of specified inputs so that local communities can grow their own food.

What it does

DigIt is an online tool that individuals in the West Philadelphia area can use to help make the process of planning and implementing a community garden more efficient. There are thousands of vacant lots in the Philadelphia area. It is possible to purchase one of these locations or obtain permission to convert the lots into a community garden, thereby creating a great opportunity to provide nutritional produce to the community at a low cost. Our tool uses the Simplex algorithm to generate a model that will assist users who have information about a plot in optimizing which crops to grow to maximize their preferences, profit, or nutritional return. The site will also send reminders to the user concering actionable items regarding their plot within the garden. In order to obtain a permit to convert one of these plots, individuals must provide the city with a plan for continued attention to the project. Our product will help to increase the number of gardens approved by the city, by providing a clear plan to those interested. The value of our product goes beyond gardens and offers great social and environmental benefits.

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