For this year's Bitcamp, the team wanted to address a sustainability issue from the United Nations sustainability goals. We narrowed our plan down to nutrition and education, and so we decided to make an app that can teach a user more about gardening! We believe that an app like this can encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as spend more time outdoors. Gardens also have a positive environmental impact by providing resources for wildlife like honeybees and birds.
What it does
The purpose of this web-app is to educate users about sustainable gardening. Users can get inspired with the names of interesting veggies and fruits in our quiz, as well as learn about the different zones that plants thrive in. After choosing a crop, users can use our search tool to easily learn more about it. Lastly, our rain water calculator can estimate how much water a roof rain collector could save over the course of a year, reducing runoff and providing free water to use in the garden!
How we built it
Our app has 3 main components: a crop finder, a quiz, and a rain calculator. Both the crops finder and the quiz were made using React + web technology. For the first component, we used the OpenFarm API. This API allowed us to query for a crop and display its information. The rain calculator used ArcGIS to display a map. Lastly, we hosted the app using github pages.
Challenges we ran into
A lot of us were new to some of the technology (everyone learned something new!) so we had to sacrifice some good ideas. Since this was an online hackathon, it made collaboration more difficult. Also, we initially had trouble coming up with ideas because it was hard to find API’s for gardening. And once we found a usable API, it was incomplete and had limited information. Regardless, we made it work even in the short time frame.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we were able to finish the majority of the components we wanted and have it hosted online! We had fun with this project and are glad we chose it. This was one of our group member’s first hackathon so we are proud they are part of this project as well.
What we learned
We learned how to use the ArcGIS tools to display a map on our app. We also learned more about React and app development including how to integrate an API into our app. Lastly, we learned more about gardening through our research.
What's next for Gardening Education
I believe this idea has many possibilities in garden education. I think if we can focus on a younger audience with this app, we can have a significant impact on how sustainable the next generation is. Some future features include:
- a personal crops list to keep track of your garden
- the option to add photos over time
- integrate the rain calculator to help with watering the garden
- meal planning along with gardening Overall, the space for garden education is big, and this web app has the potential to fill it.