Saturday, 15 September 2012

Grower's Nation - Our back story.

The Grower's Nation project started back in April 2012 as part of the International Space Apps Challenge. The idea is to get more people growing fruit and vegetables by making decisions about planting easier. The app will work by using location, climate and horticultural data to provide people with information about growing possibilities on unused land. There will be a simple web and mobile based interface to make all the open source data much more user friendly.

At Space Apps, the Grower's Nation team worked closely with our sister project the Pineapple Project. The collaboration consisted of teams and individuals from Exeter (UK), San Francisco, New York City, Chile, Nairobi and the Dominican Republic and is reported to be the largest international collaboration at a hackathon ever. At the end of the weekend, lots of data had been crunched, a user interface had been created and our team went off to continue working on the project in their spare time. We were also awarded the Galactic Impact Award at the end of the global judging.

Since then the Met Office have generously supported our project. We have data sources for the UK which our team of scientists are working hard with to get them to all tie together for the app. To learn more about the Grower's Nation project and how to get involved go to www.growers-nation.org

Grower's Nation Education is a project which has grown from the idea, getting school children interested in growing too. Two schools are currently working on gardening projects and the lesson plans and blogs will soon be available online, for free, for other teachers to use. We hope to link schools around the world through the joint experiences of growing, cooking and eating their own vegetables. The children will also have the chance to contribute to the wiki pages of localised growing tips by interviewing local gardeners.

This weekend, we are going to be working towards creating a global agronomy data map using open source data. More details can be found here: http://idea.usaid.gov/opendata/growersnation

Keep reading for more...

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