How members of the Open-Source community contributed to launch an innovative solution to producing their own food.
From a Backyard Prototype to an Off-the-Grid Solar Smart Greenhouse. This is the story of myfood:
“A new collective awareness is emerging – we’re taking control of our food system. Many people, however, seem to believe that food autonomy is out of reach. Some lack knowledge, some lack space, while others lack clear information. But myfood is excited to announce that it’s now possible to produce our own food in a simple, accessible and transparent manner. No prior experience required.”
Mickaël Gandecki, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
It was the summer of 2015 and a 5-week accelerator program known as POC21 had nearly begun.
Engineer and financial-tech consultant Mickael Gandecki had been tinkering around with various methods of growing vegetables for years. The program, which took place at a 1500-acre castle outside Paris turned Gandecki’s prototype to a scalable product. Engineers, consultants, designers, and hobbyists brainstormed ways of decentralizing and securing food production. The winning concept chosen combined aquaponics, vertical farming, and permaculture. Most people have heard of these methods; however, not everyone knows where to get started, therefore the team’s goal was to find a way to make them easy to learn and implement. With the help of many contributors, the team has refined their solution many times throughout the last year. Contributors and participants make up the myfood Pioneer Citizen network. These members include people who support them and share a common vision of a sustainable future with fresh and healthy food for all.
Within the year, the young startup deployed 20 smart greenhouses, allowing the community members to help spark innovations. These community members have reported a harvest between 1 kg and 1.5 kg (roughly 2 to 3 lbs) daily per greenhouse. The myfood systems are able to go completely off-the-grid with semi-transparent solar panels. The Raspberry Pi, Win10 IOT, Atlas Scientific sensors and the Sigfox network simplify the maintenance of the greenhouse. Users keep an eye on the health of their fish and vegetables remotely, automate water quality management, and have alerts sent to their smartphone when manual adjustments are needed.
The next steps for myfood include an expansion of their product offerings, a more powerful monitoring system, and a European wide launch in 2017. These product offerings include solutions from balconies, backyards and rooftops, up to small commercial farms.
These solutions are already available for those who want to join the Pioneer Citizen program at myfood.eu.