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By Kavi Sugiharto Weber, Grade 7
Farmbot. Where to start? Farmbot Inc. was founded in 2016, by Rory Aronson, Rick Carlino, and Tim Evers and brought to Green School in the summer by Ibu Sophie Woo. I originally joined this class because it appealed to me most out of the projects offered during the block. You see, I don’t have much technical knowledge, and wanted to join the project more on account of the manual labour aspect of things (like pulling weeds or carrying compost). I have enjoyed it immensely thus far. I am excited to see where the project goes, whether it works or not. I have a good feeling about it, though…
Farmbot aims to “Create an open and accessible technology aiding everyone to grow food and to grow food for everyone.” Even NASA is seeing if it will work to farm on other planets, pushing forward the colonization of The Moon and Mars!
But the question remains: will it work in Bali?
When I first saw the farmbot, the treads were a bit off, and it wasn’t fully set up yet. The garden bed it was set up over was covered in weeds that grew up to about four feet. Pulling them out was insanely hard… maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit, but it was tough. First impressions? I don’t know that I had any initial expectations for it, so I guess I didn’t have any.
There are many roles in this project. There are people like Gusde and Case who code the raspberry pi (a small computer used in many practical projects), do garden design, and just code in general. They’re also meant to get the farmbot up and running. I don’t understand most of the jargon, so you can ask them in person if you want the details. Then there are manual labourers (such as myself). We do the work that the farmbot can’t, like adding fertilizer. It’s tough, but rewarding.
Our primary aim for the project is to create a “cyborg salad”, a salad consisting of produce that was created in part by humans and in part by the farmbot itself. We have a deadline set to november 23d, when Middle School is hosting the school assembly. But what exactly we’ll do is a surprise. Guess you’ll have to wait till then!