“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.
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.
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.
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.
The first batch of completely indoor-grown micro greens tasted awesome, and had absolutely no sprays or dive bombs from birds.
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.
Critical to our success is the ability of our production system to scale.
The next generation of prototype increased LED power to 120W.
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.
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.
Specific red and blue wavelengths of LEDs allow cultivars to get the colors that the plants need the most.
LEDs have waterproof protective coating and operate on 12 VDC so no permits or licensed electricians are required for installation.
We tested our 60W LED system side by side with a 220W fluorescent system and had good results.
We are currently expanding production in the high tunnel at our farm.
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.