Planning A System

Thinking through all the things I needed to make my indoor 70 Gallon system I began to map out the needs for a stand, that could support the weight, but also how I could utilize the space, and maximize water flow and cleanliness. I figure that with two solenoids I can control the pump between the tank and the grow bed. The images below showcase The specs I put together for the stand before I start building.

If you’re interested in recreating this I can provide a google sketch up. Building progress to follow.


Had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a few people about my project but more importantly about the idea of Aquaponics and its relation is society. I spoke with Michelle Callabro, fellow MFADt Student, and Derek Haviland, Communications & Outreach Director at CAFCA.

Michelle has been working on documenting urban agriculture, in Harlem with her cousin. Her examinations of the users provided me the opportunities to discover what she has found. Her short videos are coming out soon, and I hope to link to them. Michelles connections with the community and her documentary research provided me with the ability to see what has failed in the past working in communities and how I can better position myself within the areas I am trying to help. Quotes to follow.

I had an interesting discussion with Derek about Aquaponics. Derek was in charge of investigating the use of aquaponics systems in urban, low-income communities in Connecticut. He discussed the benefits, to a community, the potential job creation and increased access to fresh vegetables. Derek also provided great insight into the limitations of setting up a system as such, telling me that he believes the government(state and federal) will need to get involved to get something like this started. I will follow up with him again as he is proving to have great insights.

User Study Updates

Lots of stuff has been happening, and I have been crazy busy, however I have some updates of my thoughts.

Last week I really focused in on my user group, and with help from my visits to the Open Hardware Summit, I was able to focus my thoughts a little more, on who and how I should think about the people and organizations around my project.



Check out the presentation files about how these groups can come together.


Additionally some user test photos:

Initial User Map

I began to explore my user group in a little more in depth way. After reading about the various places Cornell University seems to think we should be teaching hydroponic systems I became very intrigued in the notion of potential job creation of future jobs. Additionally I tried to think about how restaurants and grocery stores might fit into the ‘open source’ food model.

After our discussion in class today I feel that there are probably more avenues to explore with the direction and depth of this user map (even just related to the notion of a Stakehold Tier, and then an ability to access at what level these tiers might affect and effect the process.

Just to get it up, a minor update to domains – this will probably change throughout the course of the year, so I thought it might be interesting to map.

Brooklyn Hydroponics

There was a recent article in the New York Times highlighting, a successful local hydroponic farm. The article brings up many interesting points about the segment to the restaurant business and the benefits of taste vs. soil based vegetables. Chefs, and restauranteurs discuss pros and cons hydroponics in a very intriguing NYT article.

The article makes me think that there is definitely a market for fresh local goods (hydroponic even); I wonder who is buying this produce? I am also curious about how these individuals feel about hydroponic vegetables, and if they have ever considered growing there own.

To me it seems there also might be another potential user group for my ideas.