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README.md

README.md

plantz

An example project and code to run a greenhouse (or maybe a local food revolution ...).

As always it's a Work In Progress (WIP).

Checkout the Twitch stream [coming soon] https://twitch.com

You can even fund some projects and the ongoing development of the urban distributed agriculutre concept. Sign up via Patreon [coming soon] https://patreon.com

As demand grows for high quality produce and the thirst for robust low impact supply chains expands a number of projects are being created to commercialize and educate the consumer. However, everyone should be able to create their own sustainable food source.

Some examples include:

  • Paris, France - Agricool
  • Bay Area, United States -
  • MIT food computer V1, V2, V3 link
  • Oroborus
  • Monterey
  • NY
  • (Please add)

What is Aquaponics?

TBC link

The Plan - v0.1 Backyard Greenhouse

Lessons learnt

  1. Insulate where possible the sump tank
  2. It's very hard to holesaw PVC, try to use fittings instead
  3. Assume you don't have wifi
  4. Ensure you have multiple water routes
  5. Design your circuits
  6. You are at the mercy of water temp

Planning

Prep the area, level it put down wire. Then create a frame to house the gravel/rock.

Materials

  1. 20 x 10ft Shelter Logic extra high greenhouse
  2. 2" PVC pipe
  3. 4 x 300 Gal. IBCs
  4. 2 x 50 Gal. barrels with removable lids
  5. 2 x 3-500 Gal. tanks
  6. 1 x 20 Gal. Bucket
  7. 20 x UniSeals
  8. Rock/Media
  9. Dow Blue Board Foam
  10. 2" PVC Couplers
  11. 2" PVC Ts
  12. 2" PVC X
  13. 4 x 2" PVC union joints
  14. 4 x 2" PVC male threads
  15. 2" PVC 90'
  16. 2" to 3/4" adapter female to male
  17. 4 x 3/4" X manifold female
  18. 12 x 12v 3/4" solenoid / Function wise it may be better to just get the 2" Krain 24V valves
  19. Solderable bread board
  20. Male and Femal terminals crimp on
  21. Red and Black small gauge wire
  22. Multi Colored medium gauge wire
  23. 2 X Sparkfun Particle Photon
  24. 12v Power supply
  25. 5V activated 4 Relay board
  26. 2 x Xaomi ip cameras
  27. 4 x temp prope
  28. 1 x humidity prope
  29. Pure loctite silicone (No anti-fungal agents)
  30. Bio balls
  31. Air pump
  32. 3 x large airstones
  33. Large water pump
  34. 20 x Cinder blocks
  35. PVC Glue - Not too hot...
  36. Solder
  37. Extension cable
  38. Powerboard
  39. 2" PVC Valves
  40. 4 x Pallets
  41. Chicken wire
  42. 2x2" Timber to make frame for cover
  43. Pool noodles
  44. Hyropoinc 2" baskets
  45. Rockwool cubes
  46. 1 Gallon/ 4 Litres white paint
  47. Dish washing liquid
  48. Plumbing thread tape
  49. Perlite
  50. Hydroponic buckets
  51. Rockwool cubes
  52. Iron supplement
  53. Fish food

Tools

  1. Drill
  2. 2" & 3" holesaw
  3. PVC pip cutter
  4. Allen keys
  5. Socket set
  6. Skrew drivers
  7. Angle grinder
  8. Stanley knife
  9. PH meter
  10. Sand paper
  11. Garden hose
  12. Soldering iron
  13. Pole and paint applicator
  14. Sharpie
  15. Pressure washer

How to

The plan

The overall design evolved as it was built but I am realtivly confident that it is in a stable state now.

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Step 1 - Build the greenhouse

Select an area and get it levelled off and make sure the bottom is well draining.

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This video shows the process. Note be sure to measure the space. In our case we had to leave out one section due to a leaning fence.

You you will need at least 2 people.

Step 2 - Cut the IBCs in half

First be sure that they are clean. If not use a pressure washer to clean them.

  1. Take the IBCs out of their metal cages - keep the metals bars as they will be used later.
  2. Use a string line and sharpie to mark all 4 sides of the container.
  3. Cut them with the angle grinder using a cutting disk.
  4. Trim the extra metal such that it is not pertruding.
  5. Mount the top half of the metal cages to the 4 pallets.
  6. Replace the 1/2 IBCs into the 8 pallet holders/containers.

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Step 3 - Wash the rocks

Depending on what media you have selected its a great idea to wash them such that minimal debris is present.

You can use two of the IBCs and place them at an angle such that the water drains through the valve.

Use the pressure washer and add the rocks as you clean them.

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Step 4 - Setup the water flow

Now we want to create the water flow for the setup.

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  1. Place the deep water culture IBCs on the side of you preference.
  2. Place the cider blocks in groups of four such that you can place the IBCs with original bottoms on them.
  3. Determine your water route
  4. Use the holesaw to cut the desired holes
  5. Install the uniseals
  6. Cut the PVC to length and glue the required sections
  7. Trim the PVC so that it has a taper with a stanley knife
  8. Use dish soap to push the PVC through
  9. Move the rock IBCs to their positions
  10. Attache the union joints using thread tape to get a good seal
  11. Create the top water dispenser manifold
  12. Create the bottom water manifold
  13. Connect the water manifolds to the tank and pump outlet
  14. Create the swirl filter

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  1. Create the bioreactor

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  1. Install the airpump and stones
  2. Install the pump and connect to water inlets
  3. Begin water filling and cycling, fill the deep water IBCs first

The system should now be cycling and you can add the fish once you are comfortable with the flow and water quality.

Step 5 - Create floating rafts

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Paint the tops of the boards.

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Measure out the Dow Blue board and cut it with a sharp knife, angle grinder or multi tool.

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Create the 2" hole for the planting. Create a offset pattern depending on what you intend to grow.

Keep the hole cut outs as you may want to place them back in to grow in alternate configurations.

Step 6 - Water manifolds and sensing

Create the water manifolds with the solenoids.

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Attach them to the top water pipes.

Using the particle board, connect it to the relay module and program it to cycle.

Using another particle add the temp, humidity, light and any other sensors you'd like. (TODO)

Run the wiring and solder where neccasary.

Fish

In order of ease:

  1. Gold fish
  2. Koi

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  1. Talapia (Temp and water quality can be challenging)
  2. Trout (Temp and water quality can be challenging)

Operations & Maintaince

TODO

Seeds

TODO

Planting

TODO

Feeding calculation v. ease

TODO

Filtration

TODO

Nutrients

TODO

Year 1 Crop

Summer

Using only the floating rafts we were able to grow an extrodinary amount of:

  • Basil
  • Tomatoes (planted too late)
  • Edamamae
  • Thai basil
  • Mint
  • Parsely
  • Cellery

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Year 2 Crop

Winter

  • Salad
  • Lemon balm
  • Thyme
  • Parsely
  • Cauliflow
  • Collard greens
  • Peas (planted late)

hi

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(Coming Soon) For Real - v0.2 20 and 40ft containers! (Maybe...)

Building out vertical solutions in a container that can be delivered to you or a driveway near you.

DIY v. OTS

There are a number of items and even complete systems that you can buy. I have taken a very DIY centric approach to ensure that costs are kept low.

This has however, created a number of challenges and made some things take longer as I looked for solutions.

Future enhancements

  1. Proper sealing
  2. Cameras
  3. Heating and cooling
    1. https://www.overclockers.com/extreme-water-cooling-using-refrigeration/
    2. Evaporative
    3. HVAC $$$?
    4. Cooling wall
  4. Add vertical growing ala zip grow
  5. Add aeroponics link
  6. Add fully automated robotic crop maintaince - farmbot
  7. Live camera streaming and image object detection plus localization/masking. hack

References

  1. https://docs.particle.io/reference/firmware/electron/#udp
  2. https://community.particle.io/t/robust-udp-communications/17218
  3. https://wiki.python.org/moin/UdpCommunication
  4. https://docs.python.org/3/library/datetime.html
  5. https://github.com/sparkfun/Inventors_Kit_For_Photon_Experiments/tree/master/03-PlantMonitor
  6. https://www.agritecture.com/
  7. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFUk9FLx4lb-WhfoY-STxDQ
  8. https://www.hackster.io/LuisLabMO/smart-modular-watering-system-b571ec
  9. https://www.plenty.ag/
  10. https://wefunder.com/element.farms/
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vcmIzYI0po
  12. https://cannabusinessplans.com/much-cost-grow-cannabis-indoor/
  13. http://www.autonomousgreenhouses.com/
  14. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/rise-vertical-farming/
  15. https://cloudponics.com/
  16. https://youtu.be/AkMGH9910eM
  17. https://youtu.be/-yAcD3wuY2Q
  18. https://twitter.com/_agricool/status/880420268837134338
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-1tBWDHcQs&feature
  20. https://www.greenthumb.io/
  21. https://experiments.withgoogle.com/oasis
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWUt6hT_8Lo
  23. http://dachnikaquaponics.com/
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuPGJLE6BdY
  25. https://www.uvi.edu/files/documents/Research_and_Public_Service/WRRI/UVIAquaponicSystem.pdf
  26. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/eat-cook-grow
  27. https://automicrofarm.com/
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