@wbraches, @spaghet, @rbaynes, @Webb.Peter, @wsnook
This is definitely a key topic, and one needs work. I started a topic around using the Cornell Handbook and JSON, and while I think that Cornell is a good starting point (already well documented), JSON is not the way to start writing. I would suggest informal prose for the moment, an indented style (for sub-parts, attributes, related parts) and possibly a property:pair structure.
Whatever we start with will be refactored for re-usable parts, so any effort put into this should be around content, and not format. If the content is decent, we can parse it into a format later. Formatting JSON is a pain (without a good editor), and if the editor strips out the white spaces it becomes almost unreadable.
Another suggestion is to separate the 'recipe' from 'protocols'. The recipe is instructions for growing something (lettuce) and should be slightly abstract to avoid instructions that are specific to particular hardware (personal food computer, vertical farm). It states what is to be done, not how. My go-to example is The Joy of Cooking and chocolate chip recipes; they don't specify if mix by hand or with an electric mixer, or whether the oven is gas or electric. The 'how to' instructions, and instructions for things other than the plant (mixing fertilizer, cleaning the equipment, calibrating an Ph sensor) are protocols/procedures; separate from the recipe and usually specific to the environment (and environment is another related thing we will need to describe).
There are two approaches to this: Shotgun it by looking for multiple sources (library, back of seed packages, agricultural handbooks) and seeing what they have in common; or digging into one specific example (Cornell) and seeing what we can make of it - I started the latter approach.