The genius behind Kijani Grows – Eric Maundu is trying to farm in West Oakland, a land covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots.
In an environment where there is not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn’t use soil. Instead he’s growing plants using fish and circulating water.
It’s called aquaponics – a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming). It’s been hailed as the future of farming: it uses less water (up to 90% less than traditional gardening), doesn’t attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish).
Using sensors (to detect water level, pH and temperature), an Arduino micro-controller, relay cards, and social media (Twitter and Facebook), Maundu has programmed his gardens to tweet when there’s a problem (i.e. not enough water) or when there’s news (i.e. an over-abundance of food to share).
Today he runs Kijani Grows (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food and attempts to explore new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening.
Aquaponics – the future of farming
Learn more at Kijani Grows