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Getting broke, broken, and forked for the Planet

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Getting broke, broken, and forked for the Planet
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In my favorite TV show, Connections, produced in the '70s by the BBC, Host James Burke traces modern innovations back through time, showing how one person's invention builds upon another over millennia in a delightfully asynchronous collaboration that gave us our modern industrialized world. Unfortunately, industrial innovation has now caused environmental problems so deep that our very existence may depend on fixing, quickly. If climate scientists' predictions are accurate, we do not have several millennia more to invent and market "ecological solutions." We need to accelerate invention, learn faster as a species, and integrate more symbiotically with the rest of our environment. We need to design faster, accelerate public buy-in, and work out the economics. For that, I say, "Let the public help!" For three years, I have been harnessing the passion of ordinary citizens around the globe in a mass collaboration to solve environmental problems ourselves as so-called consumers. As an online community, we designed and engineered Windowfarms, vertical hydroponic gardens that let you grow some of your own food in small urban windows, shaving the carbon footprint of your fresh food. Our community's success lies in building upon one another's work in a process we call R&D-I-Y, or research-and-develop-it-yourself. We have learned cultural practices, economic models, and ways of sharing that reach beyond through the boundaries of formal applied sciences and welcome a public eager to fight the good fight. We're getting broke, broken, and forked for the Planet.
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and the fact that it is the last so far so good I and so
I if I go to a lot of these conferences and oftentimes I'm sitting out there with with you all it and so on often people talk about you know all of the big ideas but it's it's rare that we actually get to hear all of them kind of back story behind these Internet movements that happened so that's my goal for today is to tell you about kind of the details and and some of the and smaller is that the smaller sized insights that and have happened over the course of this project and I've been running for the last several years so the title of the talk it is getting at a broken broken anaphoric for the planet so 1st of all I want to start out with 1 1 very simple fact which is that most people when we talk
about the environment and environmental impacts we I have no idea what we're talking about we are all kind of you making grand claims were respected doing a lot of speculation but we don't necessarily most people don't actually understand what the ramifications of any given actually take on a regarding the environment what those are and they're actually only a few people on earth who were really qualified to make a broad statements about environmental impact so for example 1 of those people is not a scientist named meanwhile broker he's an 80 year old man who has been obsessed with the idea with with climate change said and since probably the 19 fifties and he's been peer reviewing articles I had written by other scientists for a very long time and so when a journalist wants to know whether or not I the and the catastrophe
and i've muirlands was related to climate change while is 1 of the very few people who they can call who could really
Ventura gas along those lines but for the for the rest of us it's really hard to understand all of the complexities of how I at how what word doing impacts something as
complex as the environment as the ecosystems that were were surrounded by so basically the take of that is that you don't have to be a specialist on environmental and researcher of any particular kind of but in order to make an impact because you're basically just as qualified as most other people on earth are added to make an impact on the I am pretty much 1 of the most unlikely people to have have done as I grew up on a ranch in Texas and you just kind of a country girl and and I moved to the big
city because I wanted to make it up and deal with technology so I'm I'm like all of you guys I'm really interested in technology and have been for 4 years a and you know unfortunately I can't really do a whole lot in Brenham Texas to shape the way that technology was going to impact our lives in the future so after having moved to the to the New York City
and having worked in the technology field for quite a while and having noticed several ways that that I could you know make incremental changes using technology to impact the environment i it ran into the work of Michael Pollan now he I don't know about here in Germany but in the states he is an almost a household name at this point he wrote a book called The Omnivore's Dilemma which really was 1 of the catalysts in the food movement in the United States so in that the local food knowing where your food comes from the sustainable think use of i farm to table movement he was basically the author of it in 1 article that he wrote for The New York Times on in this article he made the point that actually the food movement is not just about being a responsible consumer and buying that this produce that someone else has grown responsibly it's also about actually getting your hands dirty in the and growing some of it yourself so he brought the whole DIY aspect of things into the food movement and he really
reminded me of that what it would have been like to growth summary food and learn from these little ladies who grew everything that they ate and when I was growing up in Texas the problem was that I lived in New York City apartment on the 5th floor walk up with no balcony no room to do you use any of the traditional techniques for growing that I had that I was familiar with and that Michael Pollan was talking about I did not have a California backyard and so I started to look at but the but he had really gotten to me I was really I really wanted to participate in growing so my own food so I started to look at my opportunities within my apartment from the standpoint of a plane and the 1 resource that I really had offer was my window i in the year round climate control that I already had indoors so I had this vision of what if I could take hydroponics so this technology that
NASA was using has been using to you experiment with growing food and space that pot growers around the world have been using it to you grow their cash crops very reliably what if I can actually implement that in my apartment so that at least some portion of my own food would be there
growing constantly in front of my my eyes the
thing was that just doing that for myself you know it would be it would be cool but it would be just kind of my own personal project in I started thinking think about the fact that there are actually
probably about 3 billion other people like me on planet Earth to live in these little boxes and all they have is a window to offer plants indoors so as soon as I started looking at this not just from the standpoint of what it was going to do for myself and my being able to show my cool hydroponic garden my friends but what if I can actually scale this up from the beginning so if it were not just my window there were fellow filled with 1 of the 5 farms growing greens by windows are all over the place I want to take a step back for a little bit now from this moment and I'll talk about what might happen background so I had the privilege of going to you as the to New York University the Interactive Telecommunications Program and I got to study under 1 of the luminaries in our field Glacier and he wrote a book called the on here comes everyone and then another 1 recently called cognitive surplus I and 1 of his areas that I have had no real interest was in is the and was open source 1st of all and secondly I crowdsourcing so back in about 2005 2006 I was studying under him during the time that Wikipedia and had it was really starting to blow up there were a lot of entries being created there there's also at Amazon's Mechanical Turk coming online and all other kinds of crowdsourcing projects but at that point sitting in his class I was really frustrated that a lot of the crowdsourcing projects were really reducing human beings to little more than the and the robot essentially we were doing very simplistic tasks and I I was really excited about Wikipedia because what was happening there was really much more of a collaboration there is a back and forth between individuals it was building the something much bigger than that really inspired me and I started thinking this mass collaboration things we really need a taken that father we need to figure out how to have lots of people be able to interact with 1 another and build upon 1 another's work the
2nd kind of big moment that I had this shortly thereafter was I I was I decided to take on some environmental art projects and 1 of them I started hacking some technology that some scientists had been developing for Iot steward treatment so their idea why is that I and they were gonna take all of the year and that was coming out of all of our toilets and they were going to divert it out of the normal which treatment stream and they were gonna put into its own stream so that it could be treated and it was it was gonna be a very huge infrastructure project and in fact it's been undertaken in Switzerland but I decided I wanted to have that for that for the individual level so a friend of mine and I we set up our own little chemistry lab in my apartment and we started taking this large-scale technology and we just boiled it down to something that could be done at the individual scale so it was a little kid that let you turn your own urine into fertilizer and I was a crazy kind of funny environmental our project we did in a whole bunch of places and at i Das electronic have festival and people really loved that but the really important thing that I got out of that project was that 1st of all how people were really excited about the opportunity to do something themselves and they would come back to me after having turned some of their P and fertilizer that they were going to use on their house plants and say paying you know and then another
idea about how you should apply that you should really you know put this into a composting toilet of some kind and I would look back at them and I would say like this is not my thing when you take a while you put it in the common and the composting toilet why don't you take it to the next level in there was just something that went off when people thought 0 wait I I can do I can do this and it was seeing that little the burst of interest that made me realize that we all are often if think like consumers we think that we is somebody else needs to do this for us and it's just because we've been living in a civilized world for a very long time that we have a largely
forgotten our own power to just go ahead and when I learnt through the process of doing this during the fertilizer transformation project was that using the internet I
am I could look up all of these research articles by scientists 90 % of which I didn't understand they understood just enough to give me a little thread of something to work well and then secondly for anything that was beyond my personal capacity I could look in my social networks and within about 2 to 3 degrees of separation I can usually find a link to someone who is an expert in a given field and so that was how I was able to work through some pretty advanced chemistry in my own kitchen white if we continue to do that if not only I did that but if lots of people did that we could work through some really challenging projects so that's when I came up with the idea for something that I call on DIY so a plot applying mass collaboration to solve environmental problems but but doing it as ordinary citizens were the ones who knew of you know what it is that we need for our particular situations so and and we have resources that we can mobilize to get something accomplish that we don't feel specialize enough to do I thought that I needed something to start this project off there was going to be very tangible and very easy for most people the dual as well as something that people were excited about unfortunately turning you're turning your PC into fertilizer is not the most you know appealing thing for a lot of people by growing some of your own food is so my 1st case study for research and developing yourselves I was going to be window fonts and that is
when I launched this video on you to remember directly from and this is where I live Brooklyn New York
lots of semantic lots of people lots of snow
not a lot of violence and this is what I like to eat fresh food mostly vegetables and this is where
I get a lot of money and have no idea where most of it comes from grade you know where some of my food comes from in fact it comes from a window in my apartment this is a window of example
it's a vertical hydroponic garden made out of
water but also to bring in air pump and some
hydroponics supplies most of the stuff I got out of the
recycling then at my apartment building in at
my local hardware store not only do I know where this
food came from I know exactly what
nutrients and the plants that I'm eating in a grid of
plants that from see myself to farm works because in the current generates a little bubble at the bottom of it to submerged in the nutrient rich waters the bubble carries a column of water on top of that minimizes through the tube and spreads out the top and the water travels back down through all of these particles depending on the the only way to go from interacting in this experiment since I want to win 1st project was friends here and there were people building Windows farms and growing their own food in the heart of cities all around the world and leaving downloading instructions to deal with the time window corresponding to build their systems and join and that's collaboration online together all identify issues with the uniform system proposed solution and test techniques have left different kinds of let's now that researching and vegetables on the status of the research in the food in the unlikely this this is the window of I call this process of ordinary people to think about contributions to collectively solve environmental problems violently I
I will research and develop it yourself through the
insights of window farmers designed to keep the quality of the people who can make the system that it would be something like this 1 in the end you improve stability and performance by excluding the about together
and testing Jackson suggested using the more
information here from the inside of the new ways of
thinking something with the silence the that widening of the mean and and the like and teams in Italy Finland and
unconstrained translating the design the local materials and language with each improvement in the easier for the next person who joined to build and and understand now we have a a multi disciplinary team of parents and teachers colleges all around the world collaborating on side of 1 of the biggest problems facing our environment How to supply fresh local
food to people in cities so
the I mean yeah so the hundreds of thousands of people around the world have now watch that video an odd are and over the course that was in 2009 that I want that video we now have 33
thousand people around the world on this website so it it has been a really crazy experience on the ends this is a little bit of the behind-the-scenes view of what happened because I had no
idea when when I want that what was going to happen is essentially but I so basically farms has taken over my life for the last 3 years so it would be that was 2009 it's now 2012 indefinitely all the way through 2013 I'm going to be very deeply embedded in so what
happened along the way why is that 1st of all I was like 0 my god what do I do with all of these people in all a sudden something that I've gotten to be just kind of like a crazy idea and became a full-time job not just for 1 person but over several people and in so basically I had to figure I've had had to figure out ways of making that work and and the sustainable and because it's just it's such a beautiful thing
and that I've wanted it to live there hadn't figure out how to make it work announcement and talk about so the
1st thing it is you gotta be willing to
put stuff out there that's broken and you gotta let people talk about it and there's something really fascinating about I'm watching someone else struggle a little bit and when it comes down to Isiah as humans were very very strange creatures but we like to watch people be working through something and I think that's part of what it has gotten so many people involved in this and you also there is that In determined in software we talk about the early feel often same thing applies here you gotta be willing to put pictures up
as something that is not perfect and doesn't work and that will actually be the much more visited image and the other is the smaller of the pictures of my change very dinky beginnings and this is uh an image from 1 of the times when I lost my entire crops because 1 of my pumps went badly and that's when I made a very major
decision about what strategy we were going to we were going to use regarding POPs at that
point in time but we need to you what the all you want to always learn from that 1 of the things I hear people talk about very often as they say I can't do this because I don't have a green thumb I don't is that a common expression in german to you have some equivalent like that yet so getting a green thumb it's not something that you're born when I it's
something that's developed to buy killing plants and then figuring out why you tell them what what was it that went wrong and and then furthermore if you're going to be doing that through collaboration and you want to publish that failure and let everyone know what your hypothesis was for what went wrong so that they can avoid that same problem in the future and when you do this other people follow you and they also publish their failures and and help troubleshoot what went wrong with that particular they're willing to put their pictures up of of their duct-taped together window farms and in his day you will put together really crazy contraptions that kind of work and kind of dull
as well and that's how you find your people that's how you build community throughout this process
so those people help eliminate parts that
we see don't work universally for everyone because everyone's trying out this is a very similar designs and AI and they say you know what
still having the same problem that you're having and someone introduces a new solution and so that's how we can move very quickly through
through designs another lesson that I learned a long time ago before I started this project was when I was doing a specification for a massive website for this organization called the Smithsonian on in in the US and what they
do is they basically own all of the best stop by international kind of archives essentially
it in the United States and as well as by the dual out of scientific research and their mission is to publish this and put it out there for the for the US public and 1 of my projects was to get them into Web 2 . 0 and to make it so that they can actually I'm used by the published but what they were developing and in throughout the course of the project to when I had to do was evaluate a whole bunch of different open source software and platforms for Web publishing and to determine which 1 at the Smithsonian should go away and so I have been through that process I got to understand 1 of the most fundamental things that our running an open source or mass collaboration project which is that you must keep that communities health and well being for the long term in mind and so I brought back to on DIY and I was very conscious about creating a so 1st of all I want everyone to know what our mission
what's in our mission was to navigate between the needs of people I'm organ the living with the plants the planet so the environmental impact that we're having while we're doing this and the needs of the plants these things have to be technically functional MRI and running well to serve the plant so are this so there were a few tenants that we were at that I continually put out there and the community in telecommuting internalized and begin self policing so 1st of all don't just put our ideas
you need actually be willing to try them and secondly be tester being the idea that guy is not the coolest thing in our community that the way cooler thing it is to take an existing idea can actually be the 1 who implemented finds out all of those really interesting nitty-gritty details that that
emerge once you actually put something in action the a proposal so if you run into a problem of or you're skeptical about something working that someone else has proposed to come back with a counter proposal and also acknowledge that you're particular design criteria and needs are not necessarily going to be shared by everyone and someone else might have their own needs secondly just really reminding people that they are authorized to make the decisions and so giving the community a lot of power and as far as decision making is concerned and then finally this is been really the very challenging part because managing of mass collaboration does require some very it requires a lot of back and technological solutions which I have not had a lot of access to on my budget and the so creating some sort of platform where people can share their ideas and in that in I'm along those lines 1 of them 1 of the needs that emerged is and we started running into the US patent system and is 1 of those areas that's really occurred for me as as being the place that we need to be working on and that were starting to work now is to make up all of the designs that we share with 1 another follow the guidelines of the International Patent
and Trademark Office's so that as people come up with new innovations they can actually be acknowledged as prior art by these organ organizations because generally the way that people publish their designs online is not recognizable by the US PTO it's not you know the line weights are not precisely the way they they should be or the language has not been written in that way so that's 1 of the things that were building into our community going forward is having people I'm building something so they can be acknowledged as an open source contribution to you and public intellectual property and that you get to sit back and
enjoy watching the most beautiful experiences that have been as people around the globe get to collaborate with 1 another and passed that ideas back and forth then on the next idea
is getting forked so that I had a I mean I a very common to her and term open source software so if you look at the course of history everyone who is invented something has always stood stood on the back of another technology that came before it that's were continuing to do but the question comes in but who gets to decide when something is a viable cost for the community so I try and leave it very open so Brian White here he he introduced a design that didn't
really it doesn't really work with window farms but he is a kind of really just interested in pumping technologies for application in various other areas and I let him just decided throw that out there and he started a contest online somebody else decided that they wanted to make a window farms of wearable now I would not consider that a very universal design you design concerned but why not and so over the course of time there's been
this wonderful tension that happens between what what's the what I would call the core concern so
that that the concerns that are shared by the most people represented here in green and the yellow the yellow concerns which are either can they may be specific to a particular community or part of a particular set of constraints I or they might
just be an interest that was once there 1st some people and it was solved by a new innovation but we can let all of that has become a plethora of designs coexist
so again that the green area there is naturally there's attraction I I hear more of the traffic ends up going to the areas where someone else says 0 yeah I bet that problem to that's why I like this particular design so I as the kind of administrator I get to watch that those traffic patterns and learn from them but I'm also the 1 who is concerned with the mission of the project so again people will sometimes get
very focused on their own particular concerns or am I or they'll be designed designing for some particular reason but the other thing that I'm really looking for is the intersection of all of our 3 missionary so the last
area and his is dealing with the financial and the
sustainability of this mission over time and this is then you know 1 of the things when it when something that you really love it takes off you really want to find a way to make sure that it can continue over time so this is this was
basically the the art of it for me and very early on and it started getting a lot of traction and I realize 0 my god this costs a lot of money and agents I put a donation washed up on upon the website and over the course of 2 years I think I'm 50 US dollars was done it and I was like what is going on right people and the but really there was you know there's a relationship that we have with the Internet where were used to getting things for free and we don't really think about how much work goes into it on the back and so I realize that you know what the donation model is just not the work and so the
1st way I find it it was with Kickstarter but I didn't do a Kickstarter just to get money for the project it was to create DIY cats to save people the trouble of having to gather all of the materials 1 of the big revelations there though as I started unfold that DIY kit business was that repurposing water bottles actually has a pretty large environmental impacts and at the same time as I was kind of scaling up i was noticing that we had a bunch of people coming to the community who were not DIY wires they didn't actually wanna make it themselves so how it got to the point where the community itself was leading me in a new direction I we needed to start looking out again 4 the planet for the environmental impacts and for the plants essentially so that you know to that point most of our DIY wires have been much more focus on building the systems and had not been paying quite as much attention to the plants so that's when the we went to a fully designed and engineered products that I got to I'm right the specifications for based on my at what I've learned from the community over the last 3 years and at that point I was able to focus
the community much more around the experience of the plants and the sharing of knowledge about the plants
so what were what were working towards now is what we call the window farmers all manner in the in all men apt is it's a body of knowledge that's put together by a bunch of farmers based on what kind of an experience had with plants in different kinds of micro climates so we're trying to make that digital around this digital community and of people around the world so as Brenda asks
on the how long can I Hermas my arugula and Macy answers that question we can have their
knowledge as well as all of the knowledge and of other people growing arugula B the aggregated
together and then that can be there to and to supply information to new people coming on board you want to know what they can grow in their
particular on Windows microclimate and they can find a suitable pairing of plants so on the
way it had been able to make this in all of these new parts of the project I unfold has been to create revenue streams on 1 side there also continue to the social mission there there's a new organizational forms that are available in the states and I'm not sure what they look like here by and were actually incorporating as a social enterprise I think that I run the window farms here
in the New US many times the the vertical height of language
that you have some of your own indoor even during the winter is not
going to work extensively with nutrients which of the 2 main
reasons that you get really interesting in small
spaces and unintelligible when you have to be made out of water
bottles and using the course website and like 1 of the things a lot of time together and not everything was going to happen is that the can of
this is what you will find someone like I have a couple of
things that you would like to mention it to helps us to of all of you
will just have images of the and here you can you can keep it
simple and growing salad greens and this morning being
with things like properties which originate in the house and you
don't have the means of the quality of the most of our
online and we we need to make sure that we all
know about and 1 more when you knowing where it needs
some work in this area being able to grow from that's that's pretty
1st English labor and that is in the form of the objects that
where you have the choice of the high-level and this
year and I was in the OK so here's what when you have
something to say I think that you want 1 right all of which I used the waters of the and as you can see how that's going forward rate now we want to you this year in the world so if you want to know what you might want and to find out what the teacher 1 on 1 of the things that I now finally we can sort of words in their head talking about this 1 of the things that I don't know if you believe that there's this wonderful would the so that In this talk this is a and because of that the and the and so that was owned by a video that I put it on
Kickstarter the next time I when I went to
once this and we were successful we brought in 257 thousand dollars in presales I'm and we're able to get the window farms manufactured in the United States which is a huge victory for our kind of feeling that he have I think right when the wind roughly so the final
lesson that I just wanted to talk about is
trust and this is that video why you probably don't know is that it took me 319 takes to get
that video because you can imagine what it's like when you know you better running this project for such a long time the totally out of money you're so excited about making it happen but it seems so far away you know it just seems like there's no way anyone is ever going to do this they're going to think you're free easy in and so when you're talking to a camera you know that's right there in front of you and you're trying to convince people it's really hard to get out of your own head in it took me 319 takes to get to that point where I believe that all of you guys
we're in the with me as much as I was and and that is really the key
to making the environmental movement work is that you have to trust the other people are and when so I go back to the beginning no 1 knows what they're talking about with the environment you know 1 is a
specialist any you don't need any kind of
specialty degree In order to be able to make a difference In I so therefore I
hereby anointed you all environmental pioneers thank you right the rest of
the question that I had you really did not only you give not only did you give a most amazing talk I think anybody who can stand on stage talk to the talk about
10 millisecond get away with it has a model ready but you also landed on point so we have 20 minutes left the questions and so please don't be shy and use this opportunity to you know find other the details about how you can
install as we know from your window and please let the summaries hands the only mice coming the most on a trip to the
website of and the kid was not available also the units so thinking and working on and that's 1 of the the reasons
why I'm here yet OK over here please and from will
cover storm running Germany's biggest Online Marketplace for sustainable products and we would like to have your product and that could really
afterward this is good at this rate you can all after
urges to questions 1st of all have you ever you um any connections to the vertical got movement and on far outside the walls this I'm sorry say it say it 1 more time in them than the lines there's a movement going along for growing vertical gardens but also on the walls of buildings to have on the connections to the and you know there is there are lot of movements going on in in the gardening world right now think that we are having final feature revolution over
those of us who have you know grown very distant from agriculture which is very humid no fundamental to human society and so I am so glad that there's so many different kinds of that growing and going on I am particularly
focus on just growing inside of apartments yet on the only thought this could be
a great combination of the 2nd question when you talk about the harm for the almost at the already publishing infrastructure for yes we are and where 1 change the Alphonse version of
it I actually we already wants that last week to a small community and where were growing it's or rolling out right now but I am a guy it's going to be under development for many the
there is to use the web platform of suppose that he I more questions OK I I will go so he said you
working on and bringing them to to Europe and you got me already I really want have toolkit at road like that has so my balcony but only 1 of the
streets so is fitted to today and much of growth of inside how how do I do it will do like create next step and well so you should come back to our website and like the September October OK and were so actually the way they're being manufactured right now I'm and they won't ship even to the people who ordered them on Kickstarter that's another thing that i'd but i'd like to say for any of you all who are considering doing Kickstarter based manufacturing projects you're probably going to be late were late and I think everyone on who has done a manufacturing project on Kickstarter has been laid that's 1 of the kind of things about that about the platform is that it's really difficult to get everything up and running within a short time frame but then he he's so I don't shift in the United
States and to a few people who ordered them on Kickstarter and in europe in august and but then were were hoping to roll somehow on for specifically I think we're in a start with Germany because you
guys apparently was really like we know what is out of so September yes excellent OK will be watching that of
any more questions than at the university and the way in the back and don't know little the later the redesign then afterwards those 2 waiting on the back of my money and you probably
get that question a lot and I just wonder how many days of a month or a week or the year can your community members live on your on their window farms is that didn't have any information on that yet this is that this is a
really excellent question so 1st of all you're not gonna live on your window no 1 answer it's it really takes like many many hectares of land to generate enough food to feed a single human being and were kind of not really aware of that anymore I don't think because we can go to the grocery store and we see a lot of produced their together but so again it's it's a little bit about what Michael Pollan was talking about reconnecting with food in a way so that it's it's much more of a learning experience I'm more of a kind of a way of satisfying that biophilia the yearning to be around nature that we that we experience as people who live in cities and in as they actually can make a pretty good dent on the financial side if you choose to grow the types of plants and that you that are very high turnover so for example I use a lot of people in a lot of detail and things like that and you can grow what are called high income again greens and where it's you can continue to harvest from the same thing over a longer period of time so I basically the way that I think about it is that I can get it out side salad out of mind but I have a very big 1 of the yeah from high is very inspirational them I'm just curious what happened to the so the original DIY
pioneers when you change direction as you said to kind of same information so there's a tension between the people who want to do things for themselves the people who wanna make change but we need an easier way so how will be on that solve the problem at least the 2 yet they thinking both live together in harmony and there's nothing nothing is happening the community the DIY community is growing like wildfire and we now have people on there who have
been doing it over 3 years and are at you your absolute experts at this point you know just as much as I am so and they you know it's continuing to rise in and I'm I'm really trying to continue to build tools to give that community the best possible infrastructure and but it's it's pretty well taken care of that as point and health have 1 more question of here please have also like to talk much but I would like to know more about the fertilizers node to 1 of the key reasons structure built such a garden which was true device
search through plans be of course to use on the organic stuff to to fertilize plants those are possible in a setting like that that is exactly what we are at most of you know 1 of the biggest concerns on the plant site so
I'm traditionally used in organic nutrients there's nothing really wrong with that it just does not supply as diverse nutrition to the plane plants so you're not eating is diverse nutrition and on the environmental impacts for in organic growing in hydroponics are much less than they are when you're dumping a whole bunch of nitrogen and phosphorus out on fields and then that's running after out into the to sea but we it I specifically designed new window farms building on the design advantages that we did with the DIY kids so that they can make the best possible use of organic hydroponic nutrients the traditional problem of organic matter panic nutrients is that they're very unstable and so the precipitate down into a kind of sludge at the bottom so it's no longer available in the water
but we design to have a bottom with the suction intake right there at the bottom so it so it
works to constantly continue to have those organic nutrients the circulating through the planets and we also have out there so many amazing resources for giving nutrition with hydroponics that we have not been forgotten about as a culture culture that were very they were under research in like the sixties and seventies lot I know in California and by using nutrients from the sea from the essentially from the sea floor and you know it's just the same as it was on land before and before we over grazed all of these crops and and it's available there in the in the oceans and that we can actually make really good use of those nutrients offers excellent nutrition for human beings in cities can get more questions OK In the last calls for
more questions for that paid the gentleman to the delta g of section and of the family who moved to begin asking what is not entirely activities if you have some people coming to work at a question about efficiency no mean
you have to ship all the stuff like the fertilizers and the kid and whatever and there is a lot less efficient so it's more the educational part that's that's valuable there because then you know if you should build like a large-scale form or even the media so as far as it's it's still very efficient if you bring up fertilizer stuff you actually need to get the plants growing less than small model where you have to put everything itself yes so basically way with the way that I like to talk about this is in terms of as having a hypothesis that we're testing
so but it's not a good comparison to just directly
compare what we're doing to a farm for example because if you live in a city how are you going to get the food from the farmer right so what we've been looking at our world still actually looking for good statistics that we can use as a comparison for and before before and agriculture of the kind that we're dealing with like and 1 statistic is that a
court it takes 10 calories of fuel to get those of us who live in cities and the
food that we eat in the grocery store so a store fresh produce and and see if that is true then we are definitely below that an amount of carbon that were using because when you when you think about it for a I grew up on a farm and in we we use of fuel based you know petroleum-based fertilizers we use of fuel to drive detractors we then had to use refrigerated trucks to basically transport the material then it has to be refrigerated at the store and then you know you're there you so once you take into account all of those things in the plastic packaging and everything is wrapped in once you think about that it's actually a huge amount of energy that goes into getting student cities so that little amount that you're growing using an air pump only turns on once an hour for a few minutes and that is actually in all likelihood of much smaller carbon
footprint were still testing and trying to find good numbers so OK if there are no other I
rising up right now then I think it's 1 1 of would have the last session of these and I was wondering you were
talking about the impact of recycling bottles and use them to draw the plants but if you're producing the kids now and doesn't that like what kind of material using for the kids yes so on do this so basically what I was
hearing it to is that we were going to have a lower carbon footprint making something specifically for this purpose and controlling all of those variables in inputs that went into it as opposed to my going to the local hardware store and by all of these little components that have mostly been made in China for the most part and then were shipped all the way to me in New York City and then I'm paying retail prices for all of that class customizing them in ways that make them no longer really recyclable or things like that want to take into account all of those little granular impacts and it really comes out to be a much bigger impact than just designing something from the ground up for every component of it to be able to be recycled so we we chose and plastic but a specific kind of plastic that I knew was you know the healthiest possible plastic there was nothing to leach into the plants that was recyclable where every word every single component of that is recyclable except for the products and so the yeah it once you start going into the realm of getting to the possibility of doing custom manufacturing you can do that and much lower carbon carbon
footprint and what you can do when you're doing DIY
with a whole bunch of things that we get as consumers thank you excellent thank you so much for everybody on given of again these varieties the idea of or not so don't if you had been