Inspiration

While researching ideas for improving communities and sustainability, we noticed some common trends in the interaction between impoverished communities and their local environment. Despite having access to reliable food, the food was often not nutritious and did not promote a healthy lifestyle. This explains why people from these "food deserts" develop dieting conditions like obesity and live in more polluted environments. Using this information people can better develop healthy habits within their community through projects like community gardens. Additionally, we want to make people more inclined to come together and maintain their community through green practices. With HomeGrown, we hope to make community sustainability and personal health a lot more accessible and easy to understand.

What it does

Using a soil moisture sensor and the Agro API, HomeGrown will take a reading of the local area to determine what types of fruits and vegetables are best suited with specific environmental conditions. From there, it will list the easiest to grow plants and present different healthy recipes that can be cheaply and quickly made from those plants. Additionally, HomeGrown provides tips on how to improve agricultural practices in order to use the local environment in the most sustainable way possible. This includes information on crop rotation and soil moisture importance.

How we built it

On the backend, the project was primarily built using JavaScript and Node.js. We also utilized MongoDB to store and cache our data for faster processing. On the frontend, we primarily used Swift to construct our mobile app. In order to develop our sensor, we made use of Arduino moisture sensors and wrote the analog reader in C.

Challenges we ran into

We had a hard time coming up with a solid idea for our hack and by the time we had all agreed upon something, we had very little time to finish. We had to work very fast and compromise on some of the more ambitious ideas we had originally thought of.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We really wanted to incorporate hardware into our hack this year and were excited when we were able to actually achieve this goal.

What we learned

We learned how to properly implement hardware into an app. Additionally, we learned how important it is to plan a little bit in ahead in order to come up with a nice idea that is feasible.

What's next for HomeGrown

We hope to extend HomeGrown to have more social interaction, allowing users to see what others around them are growing. In addition, to improve our hardware, we hope to create modular components, including a sensor to measure pH and other minerals from within the soil.

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