Kickstarter to fund development of Arduino-based, browser-controlled open source hardware automated gardening dome

Wisevehicle sends us the Horto Domi Kickstarter project, "A wonderful project to create a raised bed growing system with open source electronics. The project pulls all the pieces of a great garden together and helps the user monitor and control them via a smart phone application." The Horto Domi founders are seeking the funds to perfect their project and publish it as an Open Source Hardware spec.

Horto domi is an open hardware raised-bed garden unit with environmental control and monitoring via web-interface thanks to Arduino Ethernet. DIY sensors, such as those collecting moisture and temperature data help monitor the environment within the dome and will eventually be used to automate conditions. The goal is to grow whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you are. Horto domi is Latin for ‘Garden at home.’ It's a statement to healthful food independence, a “neo-renaissance” tip of the hat to Arduino, and it sounds like horticultural dome. Particular consideration was taken in this prototype’s design to maximize the mineral and nutrient value of the beyond-organic produce and minimize environmental contamination risks.

Horto domi: the Open Garden (Thanks, Wisevehicle!)


  1. Missed opportunity:  Kickstarter to fund development of Arduino-based, browser-controlled open source hardware automated gardening gnome

    1. I came here to post how I misread the title but seeing as there are so many of us I feel BoingBoing now actually owes us a real “automated gardening gnome”.

    1. Kickstarter seems the perfect place to fund development of an Arduino-based, browser-controlled open source hardware automated garden gnome.

      Especially an iPhone-controlled, cloud-enabled, turbocharged, tactical, fair trade Arduino-based, browser-controlled open source hardware automated garden gnome.

      Millions, I tell you… you could make millions.

  2. Most over-engineered tiny greenhouse ever. At no point do they mention anything useful, like, “does all this extra adware increase the yield over just putting the water on a timer in a regular tiny greenhouse?”

    1. I’m can tell you that it is full of good intentions but fails miserably.They are probably well intending engineering students working around a problem that they have not done their research on. like this even more fail aquaponics system. 

    2. Well, yea it’s a ridiculous way to cultivate those 30 sq. ft. but the style of construction is very scalable, and if you imagine someone trying to manage 50 of these domes all the data collectors seem more useful. Right? The point isn’t the dinky greenhouse in the video, it’s the abstraction of that greenhouse? (These are sincere question marks; I too am dubious)

  3. I read that as “Automated Gardening Gnome” and was like, “DUDE!  Cool!”  *sigh*

  4. Their stated goal is to provide fresh food to people who need it. I think that’s awesome.

    Some of the most nutrition deficient diets in the US are those consumed by people without access to fresh food (people who live in tough neighborhoods in inner cities).

    How do you develop and position this product to feed hungry, broke city folks, cheaply, without a broad spectrum of technical/agricultural understanding, and without a huge time investment?

    1. more important is – defend it. Any resource that creates value in any tough urban environment is prone to theft or damage. And – if too big to steal, how to defend the product (food)? 
      been working around this problem for the past 8 years. This is about yuppie back yards. 

  5. If this could work on an inner city apartment balcony and could provide a degree of self-sustainability without requiring constant monitoring then I can see a demand for it.

  6. 1. Can I put one on the roof of my San Francisco Edwardian without fucking up the roof? I have to use a ladder to get up there – it’s a big pain in the ass so if I could control everything remotely, that would be cool.

    2. How does pot grow in this thing? 

    3. There were assertions made about “mega industrialized food production systems” that are “more of a harm than a benefit to our health,” — that needs a citation.

  7. I like the idea of soil moisture sensors to control the watering.  I would have gone with something other than overhead misting.  Drip irrigation would be less likely to promote fungal diseases in the wet foliage, especially in an windless enclosed space.

    It’s not clear what the greenhouse brings to the party.  Sure, you’d be able to start plants a little earlier, but for most of the growing season it’s just in the way or getting torn up by wind.

    I’d have liked to hear more about the worm thing.

  8. Wouldn’t the enclosure tends to create more problems than it’s worth – especially on small scale (ie – fungal diseases?) It seems to create the need for all the automation in the first place. So – create problem to create solution methodology is kind of interesting from a ‘need to make something’ perspective. What has worked well for me – go to hardware store. Buy watering timer and drip irrigation nozzels. Fertilize by hand every two weeks. Grow anywhere, cheaply. (ok, buy pots the first year for the balcony gardener)

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