There are many plant monitoring apps for humidity or sunlight or apps that help you identify various plants. In our previous article on sustainable agriculture, we mentioned that one of the ways we as individuals can help to preserve natural resources and reduce waste is by growing our own produce in smaller quantities.
One of our partners – the GreenWitch team – is working on a self-contained IoT solution for personal mini-farming needs.
Why growing your own food is important
There are many benefits to growing your own food, depending on the scale.
Environmental: getting your own little garden is a little step in the large picture, but it’s a step in the right direction toward reducing carbon emissions and waste that are associated with transportation for farm-grown veggies.
Additionally, many agricultural companies, in order to get a good harvest and protect large amounts of crops from various diseases and pests use aggressive fertilizers and pesticides that harm the soil (and, as a result, the produce and people’s health.) When you take care of your own little garden, it’s easier to watch over it without having to resort to aggressive measures.
Personal: when food is fresh, it has so much more flavor and taste to it than something that has spent a day enjoying the logistical adventure, traveling from the farm to the market. Growing your own food also helps to:
- Increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat
- Reduce the number of pesticides that come in contact with your food
- Control when to harvest the food items (for example, ripening that avocado on the actual tree, not on the windowsill) which also positively affects their flavor and helps to retain the vitamins.
Combining hardware & software for agricultural purposes and monitoring your little garden with the help of special sensors also serves to save natural resources like water.
Smart Garden Setup: GreenWitch
Not everyone has access to a piece of land that is suitable for farming. It can be for many reasons – no land per se, the climate isn’t good enough for farming purposes, or, perhaps, not enough sunlight that gets to the plants in order for them to grow successfully.
A small Ukrainian startup called GreenWitch offers a bundle that includes a literal box called GrowBox with built-in sensors and lamps that make managing plant growth easier.
The hardware bundle includes:
- A microserver – the computer that manages all incoming and outgoing data.
- Humidity sensors for air and ground and irrigation control relay to ensure proper watering for your plants (depending on their type and needs)
- Air temperature sensor to control the temperatures inside the GrowBox.
- Lighting level sensor and light control relay – to provide “dawns” and “sunsets” for your plants and guarantee enough sunlight necessary for each particular plant.
- Air movement control relay helps to create the wind inside the box, creating an almost natural environment for the plants.
- Web camera to monitor the plants without having to open the GrowBox all the time (or, for example, when you’re far away from your plants.)
However, hardware alone doesn’t solve the puzzle. In order to make the plant monitoring more efficient, you need software that can manage all of the hardware parameters and indicator readings.
What does GreenWitch have to offer?
What is a smart garden? GreenWitch mobile app
It’s almost impossible to imagine a person without a cell phone nowadays. Even in the far-from-civilization Maasai tribes, people use mobile phones to stay connected to the world. Mobile applications streamline our daily lives and tasks, helping us to automate many of them.
GreenWitch team has come up with an app that integrates with the GrowBox hardware and sensors to provide seamless plant management features from the comfort of your own phone. You can be on a vacation in the Maldives and not worry that your basil might die while you’re away. With the GreenWitch app and GrowBox, your smart garden becomes like a smart home for your plants, where you can control your plants’ life wherever you are via the internet.
Based on the temperature, lighting, and humidity indicators, the general “care score” is given. And, what’s more important (and people with all thumbs and not the “green” kind will understand) – you can water your plants by choosing this option in the mobile app or even simply setting up a schedule that fits the plant type. You can also create custom “day” and “night” schedules by controlling the illumination inside the GrowBox.
One of the latest additions to the bundle was the optional webcam so you can see your plants in real-time mode.
Note from the GreenWitch team: if you want a smart garden like this for yourself, you can order the package to be delivered to you. If you’re more of a DIY person, contact the team to get a DIY scheme with a list of recommended details you can get on eBay and assemble them. Getting a smart garden like this is like building a lego house with instructions.
Business digitization offers a lot of opportunities for businesses as well as for end customers. It simplifies management processes – from something large like maintaining proper irrigation for several types of grains on a huge field to something as small as growing your own batch of basil for homemade pesto.
Need to develop a management mobile app for you? Let’s talk.