Author Topic: CNC Farming?  (Read 1013 times)

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Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

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CNC Farming?
« on: October 13, 2017, 08:30 AM »

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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 09:39 AM »
What a cool idea! 

   I would love to have a variety of garden fresh items constantly available in small quantities. Store is too far for spur of the moment buying. And I don't like having to tend gardens.

Seth


Offline Cheese

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 09:54 AM »
Interesting...I especially like the weeding attachment. [cool]

Not too outrageously priced yet certainly not cheap at $2600 for a 4.5' x 9' garden.

Also interesting that this is at the pre-order stage.

I would be concerned about the life of some of those plastic components. Some don't appear to have any UV inhibitors.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 10:18 AM »
Looks like it would be pretty adaptable size wise. A smaller bed set up would be pretty nice for indoor  / semi-indoor set ups.

Seth

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 10:19 AM »
Very interesting product.  I saw this or something else similar a few months back.  Since the fall of last year I have been investigating several different agricultural work flows / theories including hydroponics.

Lots of interesting stuff out there, but honestly the success of growing plants is dependent on so many factors that no one procedure will be the cure all.

Personally, if someone wanted to have an automated garden - and was willing to spend the money to achieve that - then hydroponics would be my choice based on research and one season of experience.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Cheese

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 11:39 AM »

Since the fall of last year I have been investigating several different agricultural work flows / theories including hydroponics.


There's a local tomato producer, Bushel Boy, that grows tomatoes year round for the grocery business. I believe they use hydroponics. The flavor is delicious in the winter, when only hot house tomatoes are available, but come summer when home grown tomatoes are abundant, they're just not quite up to snuff. Nothing better than to pull a warmed by the sun, ripe tomato off the vine and bite into it.

There's also another local producer of hydroponic herbs and I noticed that the stems on basil are soft and break easily while the leaves are also not as flavorful/pungent as basil grown in the dirt. It's getting better... [2cents]


Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 01:51 PM »
I am impressed by this and I am sure that it will lead to something very beneficial but at the moment one can buy a huge amount of fresh veg and fruit for $2600.

We need pioneers like this plus the people with the courage to back them and make what must be considered as a sacrificial investment. In the Netherlands (and I am sure in many other countries) the huge greenhouses are computer controlled and hugely automated spaces. It is far cheaper to have multiple static feeding and monitoring rather than a mobile (CNC) solution.

I wish them the best of luck.

Peter

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 02:44 PM »
@Cheese ,

In reading and surfing the web the most poignant fact I learned about commercial versus homegrown and the taste differences is that the tomatoes and vegetables grown by the large commercial farms are selected by how the hold up to shipping - not by taste.  Hydroponic tomatoes usually do not taste the same as homegrown soil based.

As part of my experiments I grew 5 tomato plants hydroponically and 31 in soil.  There were only two different varieties. Both were grown both ways.  I then enlisted the help of 27 families to give me comments on my produce.  When I delivered tomatoes I would supply some of the hydro and ground grown to each and without telling them about the intent of my question would then ask them if they had a preference between A and B.  Not once did I have a preference stated.

I have never had success growing lettuce in dirt before.  Hydroponic lettuce is easy. 

If anyone is interested in information and links and that kind of stuff just let me know via PM.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 03:51 PM »
When it comes to tomatoes, I'm sorry you all can't enjoy New Jersey tomatoes
fresh off the vine as I can living smack in the middle of tomato country.
After all, the first tomatoes were consumed not far from here in Salem County
back in 1820. After all, the story goes that the first tomatoes were consumed not far from here in Salem County, which is not true but it sounds good.

When Heinz Ketchup and Hunt's Catsup had their bottling and canning plants here.
Green Giant and Seabrook Farms both had the frozen food plants nearby, truck
loads of tomatoes would line the streets waiting to get in and be unloaded. Hunt's
was the last I think and closed in 1982. And Campbell's Soup in Camden took tons
or produce of all types from area farmers.

I have no idea how many pounds in a 45 foot trailer heaped so high they were falling
off into the street and getting run over by passing cars, but I can remember dozens
of trucks every day for a couple weeks each Summer. That was mid 1970s. Still millions
of tomatoes are grown here every year, but not as many as in the past.

Thousands of baskets of tomatoes used to leave here by boat bound for Philadelphia,
Camden, Baltimore, Washington DC, and other cities up and down the coast.

Here are some photos of earlier times.

http://www.westjerseyhistory.org/images/pcards/cumberland/index16.shtml

Not visible but I used to own the house to the right of the old Post Office in these photos.
http://www.westjerseyhistory.org/images/pcards/cumberland/index23.shtml

http://www.westjerseyhistory.org/images/pcards/cumberland/index26.shtml
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 04:23 PM by Bob D. »
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Kev

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 04:23 PM »
I think the real beauty of this is you could ultimately forecast what to plant based what and when you wanted to eat ... you wouldn't normally plant lettuce, carrot, etc every week .. but I could imagine a short session swapping seed pods each week with this.

Obviously this isn't suitable in it's current form for vines, etc but an open source community could take this to a new level.

I do feel the format being a CNC on a motorised frame is limiting (particularly in terms of cost to scale) and that more autonomous agri-bots will become far more popular over time.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 01:40 AM »
Does anyone remember Square Foot Gardening ?

We have the book somewhere, I can't remember who wrote it.

Peter

Online Picktool

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2017, 01:32 PM »
Lol... this book by Mel Bartholomew?





Does anyone remember Square Foot Gardening ?

We have the book somewhere, I can't remember who wrote it.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 01:35 PM by Picktool »
Well Dogey

Online jaguar36

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 01:53 PM »
Its a neat idea, but ultimately flawed.  For one thing I guarantee that it won't last for very many years outside without significant maintenance.  It also covers way to small an area.  I hate weeding as much as the next guy, but it would take all of ten minutes to weed a garden that size. I suspect you'd spend way more time fiddling with the thing than it would take to just take care of the plants by hand.  In addition its fairly inefficient since its not going to be doing anything 99% of the time, plants really grow by themselves after all.  They should have designed it to be a self mobile bot instead of using a typical gantry CNC style.  Then it could have tended to multiple gardens at once.

I'm also frankly insulted by the idea that our farming system is broken.  Sure there is room for improvement, but we generate a ridiculous amount of food per unit area and per farmer. 

Offline Tinker

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Re: CNC Farming?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2017, 03:14 PM »
I grew up for six years (from age  8 to 14) back in late 30's to 1945. When I first moved to my uncle's farm, we used a team of horses to pull anything that needed pulling.  We planted our corn with a hand held planter and the horses pulled he 4 row weeding machine.  Around 1940, a tractor was introduced and we planted our corn with a two row planter and harvested (for silo) with a two row harvester that bundled the stalks about a dozen or so at time.  We had level areas to do all the planting and harvesting of any crops meant for feeding the cattle. every spring, I folloed the stone boat (dragged by the team and later by tractor) and picked up stones to throw onto the stone boat.  Stones were the most prolific crop to be grown in the southern Berkshire hills.

when I moved to southern CT, I found a job working on another dairy farm. The farm was owned by th owner of a NYC news paper and it was a write off for him.  The land was all hillside and rocks were enven more prolific and larger than any on my uncle's Berkshire far.  The corn planting method was with a tow behind single row planter that would bounce all over the place.  The rows were impossibly crooked.  The owner bought a 6 row harvester.  that harvester, because the rows were so crooked, and so rocky, smashed more corn that it bundled.

I could go on and on and on with all the old methods compredto modern methods.  But I am in agreement with one thought that several have commented on.  There ain't no comparrison to the taste. today, the produce is bred for transporting.  It is not the same. 

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker