As we make our transition to the sustainable future, the sources we get are food from are going to change. Farms will be closer to our towns and communities will cultivate gardening to supply hyperlocal food. HyperSmart Gardens aims to lead this transition by building sustainable gardening, providing educational content, and saving water with our smart irrigation system.
What it does
We are designed to be a community organization that supports the agricultural climate of the communities we serve. Our first step is building residential gardens for those interested with sustainable materials. Then we'll target schools by offering agriculture curriculum and engineering workshops to show the backend operations of our smart gardening platform. We're designing our gardens from sustainable materials – ideally from waste products such as wooden shipping pallets and coffee bags. The smart irrigation system is powered by the sun with a 10W solar panel and 8Ah backup battery. The Raspberry Pi connects with our smartphone app to set a custom irrigation sequence. Future iterations of this platform will automatically water the plants based on plant type and weather conditions.
How we built it
The raised garden bed was built with pine wood, weed cloth, and raised bed soil and assembled as a planter box. The iOS app communicated with our Firebase database to specify the irrigation settings of each user. Each night, the Raspberry Pi communicated with our database to update its local irrigation settings. A script wakes up the Pi when irrigation is starting and goes back to sleep after to conserve battery.
Challenges we ran into
This was our first introduction to gardening so there was a large learning curve to get started. We had to learn about irrigation, soil composition, and safe wood types to supplement our technical background to pull off this build.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of what we were able to learn and what we could build by being resourceful. We're also happy that our technical progress is off to a good start and sets up a sound framework for future development.
What we learned
We learned the fundamentals of gardening that we continue to hope expand to help others interested in the matter build their own sustainable gardens!
What's next for HyperSmart Gardens
We look forward to brining our idea to the local community and start off by building smaller gardens for those interested. From the lessons we learn at this step, we hope to use that to bring our gardens to a wider audience and eventually schools.