Borrow a page from the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer?


This post will only make sense if you’re familiar with Neal Stephenson’s book, The Diamond Age. For those who haven’t read it, it’s great.

Anyhow, what if Nell’s book had taught her to be a hydroponic farmer? What if the mouse army all grew lettuce and tomatoes? Imagine for a minute that we build the functional equivalent of a primer that could teach and assist people to become indoor farmers. What would that look like?

@Caleb, any thoughts on this?

Growing food: I just ordered a MicroGrow Kit from Hamama
How to move forward on sharing data? - Plant Recipes
How to move forward on sharing data? - Plant Recipes

@wsnook I think this is a great idea and what I hope for OpenAg. A primer and a set of digital tools as common infrastructure. I’m currently in Serbia and I see all of this communist era block housing and I wonder …a PFC on its own cannot feed a person given its size constraints but if each flat had one and they were networked as nodes in a sharing economy of food the resultant multi-nodal “farm” could be very interesting. I think the primer will likely evolve to look a lot like the 1977 piece by Charles and Ray Eames the power of 10 whereby each layer of learning leads to a deeper understanding of the awesome complexity of natural systems. We need to empower more explorers of future food systems with the tools of discovery and the ability to share and benefit from eachothers experiances.


That’s encouraging to hear. I’ve been daydreaming about building an interactive software system that incrementally and interactively teaches people about farming–similar to how Nell first had to learn how to read before she could go on to do so many other things. The trick would be to make it sufficiently fun and engaging for people to stick with it, get past the basics, and start having success growing plants.