I was inspired to create this project through my own struggles with food insecurity. This time last year, I was extremely poor. I survived off of bulk beans and rice, plus whatever food they had at networking events around town. Although I am no longer food insecure, I am fully aware of the triggers that lead to food insecurity, and familiar with its affects. Widespread job loss is the least of our troubles with regards to food security. Farm workers are disproportionately immigrants, and have few protections. The people who grow and pick our food are getting sick. The flow of people across borders has slowed, which decreases the amount of available labor. Americans have proven unwilling to do manual farm labor-- especially at the standard rates of pay. What happens when you run out of people to grow your food? Do you have them work while they are sick? Do you have every farmer buy a harvesting-robot?
In the absence of a coordinated plan, and without knowledge of the future, it is essential that every family brace themselves with some form of food production.
What it does
We are creating areoponic systems that grow food at an accelerated rate. We also have an online marketplace that enables people to trade locally grown food.
How I built it
The materials for the areoponic system where made at home, with basic tools (i.e drills). The website has Stripe and Google APIs.
Challenges I ran into
I had a bit of a hard time setting up the Stripe API. The cost of materials is pretty high ($200 a system). I also do not have a car to transport the materials, and many of the materials are not available through delivery. I have to ask for rides. Also, the challenge with marketplaces is creating a network affect.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
People do not need the best, most automated hydroponic system right now. They need food security. I am creating marketplace, as well as hydroponic systems themselves, because the marketplace dramatically increases the impact that you have. Hydroponic designers anywhere and everywhere to make their own systems. Each system is a regenerative food source. The presence of a regenerative food source is more important than it's level of automation.
What's next for Ever Arable Marketplace
I am working to build more systems. We are doing campaign that allows people to donate a system to a food insure family. When the city reopens, I will host meetups to teach hydroponic food production and hyperlocal food production.