Kickstarting an Internet-of-Things for your garden

Eduardo sez, "Students from the University of Illinois have launched a Kickstarter project for an internet of things garden control system. Their product, Plant Link, monitors the soil moisture level for individual plants and alerts gardeners when the plants need to be watered. Plant Link also has the ability to automatically water user's plants via a wireless valve that can be connected to an irrigation system. The 30 day long campaign has already raised over $55,000 of the $75,000 goal after 12 days on Kickstarter."

Plant Link: Listen to your plants

Fruit salad trees with six different fruit-bearing branches grafted on them


The Fruit Salad Tree Company of Emmaville, NSW, Australia sells trees that have up to six different fruit-bearing branches grafted on them.

* Stone fruits which grows peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and peachcots
* Citrus which grows a winter and summer orange, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangelos and pomelos
* Multi-apples only
* Multi-nashi fruit only

The Fruit Salad Tree can be grown in the ground as for normal fruit trees, or in pots for those people with very limited space. Instead of having numerous different trees with more fruit than your household can consume there is only one tree with all of the fruits ripening naturally over a period of months. There can be more than one variety of an individual fruit on a tree, thus extending the picking time.

Fruit Salad Tree Company (via Kottke)

Guerrilla Grafters covertly add fruit-tree branches to ornamental trees


The Guerrilla Grafters are a group of rogue artists who roam San Francisco, covertly grafting fruit-tree branches onto ornamental trees to create a municipal free lunch. John Robb calls it "resilient disobedience."

How can you improve the productivity of your community even if the officials are against it?

One way is through resilient disobedience. For example, there’s a group of gardeners in San Francisco that are spreading organic graffiti across the city. How? By grafting branches from fruit trees onto ornamental trees that have been planted along sidewalks and in parks.

They are using a very simple tongue in groove splice that’s held together with annotated electrical tape. Good luck to them.

Personal Biochar Kilns, Portable Factories, DiY Septic Tank Cleaning, and Guerrilla Grafting (via Warren Ellis)

Casemod that grows wheatgrass


Mike Schropp's "BioComputer" is a PC casemod that actually grows wheatgrass, using waste-heat from the computer to provide a hospitable hothouse environment. He's posted detailed build-logs from the project, and plans more ambitious horticulture.

I can’t exactly recall when the idea came to me, but at some point I started wanting to use the heat from a computer as a way to warm the soil and help with germination/growth. I’m about as far from a botanist as it comes, I did some reading online and became pretty interested in the effects of soil temperature on germination/growth. I read different studies and papers from various universities. It was not too long into that process that I became hooked on the idea of using computer heat as a way to control the soil temperature of some sort of living plant life.

As the idea developed further I started looking into wheatgrass as a plant option. There is something clean and natural about the look and idea of a piece of grass growing in my basement. I thought the look would alter the space a little bit and add a bit of color along with something more than just metals and plastics. After reading enough studies and papers on the effects of soil temperature and germination with wheatgrass I felt like I had a good enough handle on the basics to tackle this.

Bio Computer (via Neatorama)