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Raspberry Pi at MIT and Fluorescence Detection

Here’s a great article I read this morning from MIT. One more piece to the puzzle. Enjoy.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/nanobionic-spinach-plants-detect-explosives-1031

“These sensors give real-time information from the plant. It is almost like having the plant talk to us about the environment they are in,” Wong says. “In the case of precision agriculture, having such information can directly affect yield and margins.”

I don’t do land mines and explosives yet surely do like the fluorescence detection technology with the Raspberry Pi for use in monitoring our agriculture.

Regards,

Jim

Jim Ray, CTO
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC
Teachey, NC 28464
Jim@LeafyGreensFarms.com
office: 919-297-2926 cell: 984-459-0458
Jim Ray
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce micro greens for sale to both retail and wholesale customers.
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Don’t Bend Over to Pick Your Strawberries – Optimizing Plant Performance

photons from LED lighting systems

I had opportunity to watch the following video “Optimizing Plant Performance – Plants Spliced, LED Lights Glow, & Strawberries Bloom” from  Dr. Chieri Kubota, plant scientist of Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at The University of Arizona that  looks to optimize plant performance with grafting systems, temperature and lighting evaluations, and creative solutions for growing delicious and abundant strawberries.

She references growing strawberries in a greenhouse where workers are happy to pick strawberries without bending their backs. It makes good sense to me. Enjoy.

Regards,

Farmer Jim

Jim Ray

Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce micro greens for sale to both retail and wholesale customers.

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Inspiration Move Me Brightly with Photons from LED Lighting Systems and Photosynthesis

photons from LED lighting systems

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I had opportunity to divert my attention last week from the mechanical design for our indoor horticulture stack-able systems and to consider our LED lighting systems. I stumbled upon three videos on YouTube that I wanted to share. Director of Horticulture Research and Development Dr. Rebecca Knight presented “LED Lighting for Controlled Environment Agriculture” at the 2016 Greenhouse Crop Production and Engineering Design Short Course at the University of Arizona. The inspiration from those videos moved me brightly, and I called her to say thanks.

The videos include the following key points that are near and dear to our systems and business plan:

  • photosynthesis
  • photons – particles of electromagnetic radiation
  • rate-limiting steps in photosynthesis
  • saving energy when plants can’t utilize photons
  • Daily Light Integral (DLI)
  • Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD)

Below are the links to the 3 YouTube videos. May they move you brightly as well.

Regards,

Farmer Jim

Jim Ray

Jim Ray, CTO
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC
Teachey, NC 28464
office: 919-297-2926 direct: 919-297-2927  cell: 984-459-0458
Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce micro greens for sale to both retail and wholesale customers.

Videos

Director of Horticulture Research and Development Dr. Rebecca Knight presented “LED Lighting for Controlled Environment Agriculture” at the 2016 Greenhouse Crop Production and Engineering Design Short Course at the University of Arizona
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
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Microgreens Business Model

planar LED lighting systems

Hortidaily published a link to an article on microgreens today in their newsletter that I read daily:

How to Grow Microgreens: The Beginner’s Guide

It is a great article on microgreens and the business plan. Our business plan is similar. We add the manufacturing of hydroponic vertical agriculture systems with Raspberry Pi networked LED lighting and environmental controls.

Here’s a little preview of our third prototype completed this week of the planar LED lighting system that scales out vertically and horizontally from a small supply closet in the back room of a restaurant or home to stacked 40′ steel cargo containers. Our system may operate on 12 VDC completely off the grid, or with a standard ATX computer power supply that is a $30 replaceable commodity. Installation is low voltage, and requires no permits or licensed electricians.

planar LED lighting system for microgreens

Here’s the system attached to a power supply:

power supply for microgreens system

It is exciting to see other sources validate the microgreens business plan, and to dovetail traditional agriculture techniques with technology to control the process. We will be our own case study and will validate our business plan. Shortly thereafter, we will have systems, processes, and supplies available so others may have fresh food to eat that they are able to grow indoors year round.

Regards,

Jim

jim

Leafy Greens Farms, LLC is a collaborative endeavor operated by Jim Ray, an electrical engineer and owner of Neuse Networks, and, Steve Douglass, owner of Turner Family Farms. Together, we are developing innovative LED lighting and environmental control systems combined with old-school floating tray methods to produce micro greens for sale to both retail and wholesale customers.

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Leafy Greens Farms – From the Ground Up

A lot has happened this month. We officially started the business, launched our new web site, produced our first product, applied for our first grant that may provide $10,000 of capital without diluting equity in the corporation, and started the third prototype of the production system.

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The first prototype of our LED lighting system used 60W of power and yielded 12 ounces of micro greens for each of two 14″x28″ trays.

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The first batch of completely indoor-grown micro greens tasted awesome, and had absolutely no sprays or dive bombs from birds.

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Feeding people, and helping people feed themselves with our systems and methods that continuously produce year round has more karma value than most anything else I have done in life to date.

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Critical to our success is the ability of our production system to scale.

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The next generation of prototype increased LED power to 120W.

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The network addressable environmental control system using Raspberry Pi will allow operators to bring your own device (BYOD) to set temperature, humidity, air flow, CO2 injection, and lighting at a quantum level to optimize photosynthesis while simultaneously minimizing energy. The entire system is built from the ground up to operate off of 12 VDC off the grid.

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The Raspberry Pi HAT (hardware attached on top) allows us to have a web server that the operator may access from any web browser or mobile device to control the modular and scalable closed loop plant growth micro tunnels.

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Specific red and blue wavelengths of LEDs allow cultivars to get the colors that the plants need the most.

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LEDs have waterproof protective coating and operate on 12 VDC so no permits or licensed electricians are required for installation.

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We tested our 60W LED system side by side with a 220W fluorescent system and had good results.

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We are currently expanding production in the high tunnel at our farm.

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The third prototype is under construction now, and has 500W of LEDs in a 16 square foot area that compares nicely to a 1000W halogen lighting system in a 4’x4′ area.

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Stay tuned for more progress.

Regards,

Jim

Leafy Greens Farms LLC
986 Wells Town Road
Teachey, NC 28464
919-297-2926