OSS Agriculture Tools

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Q: Howw important do you think OSS agriculture tools will be?

A: Design software for farms using localized optimization of genetic stock - for integrated agriculture. Basically, open source permaculture software. This is exremely difficult because every location has the best species that only locals know about, so this is really a sociology question. If a methodology could be developed, that's a few PhDs right there.

Q: There is a "social network for gardeners" called Folia (www.myfolia.com). The basic idea is people share where they live, what they plant and when, and how it goes (e.g. pests, time to harvest, yield, etc.). The accuracy and detail of the data obviously varies widely (with more pretty pictures than scientific observation), but I think this method (either Folia or something like it) could be useful here. They have about 100k monthly users last I checked (I don't actually actively use the site but had the idea of starting something like it a year ago and found them).

A: Can you write an assessment of Folia, focusing on its usefulness in creating a localized database of 'what currently works' and the access to 'what currently works' (private sources, commercial nurseries) a platform for optimizing food growing potential?

This information would save years of experimentation in any place in the world.

The point is - there are infinite cultivars possible - and one important feature of 'getting agriculture right' is starting with the most appropriate stock. The effect upon success is tremendous - as for example - i've seen one variety fail miserably, and thrive under different conditions.

I find this question fascinating because i've observed myself that by planting the right plant material means a difference between an outpouring of abundance and misery of scarcity. The former is magic - and I would like to make that more accessible to people as we move into the open source economy. -Marcin