Microculture Gardens

Microculture combines micro-gardening with the principles of Permaculture, creatively occupying viable space throughout our communities. Micro-gardens have proven to be successful for the production of a broad range of species including leafy vegetables, fruit, root vegetables, herbs, and more. Traditionally, container-based micro-gardens occupy approximately 1 meter of space or less and are made from found, up-cycled materials at hand. Innovations on design include using innovative materials, creative placement, and features like modularity and mobility as needed.

Sensors

Moisture Sensors

The moisture sensor detects the moisture level in the soil by measuring the approximate electrical conductivity of the soil, using two nails as probes. The conductivity varies depending on the amount of moisture present in the soil. The sensor firmware code calculates the moisture level based on data from a calibration experiment. Then it communicates to a server using a wireless module, and depending on the moisture level, tweets a message about the location and moisture level of the plant soil, letting the community know when the plants need to be watered.



Parking Sensors

Parking Sensors relay information about the usage of parking spaces, locating spots that are under-utilized in order to repurpose them as new microculture parklets.



Air Quality Sensors





Sensor Electronics Prototype

This electronics prototype contains a distance sensor, CO2 and NO2 sensors, and a sound sensor. They send information to a microcontroller unit, which is usually at sleep mode for conserving energy, and wakes up at certain times of the day to take readings.



Electronics Schematics and Prototyping

This diagram shows a mockup schematic for connecting two air quality sensors and a distance sensor to a microcontroller unit. Software that monitors and visualizes air quality at the block scale gives us guidance on where to place our permaculture interventions, and what plants to use to remediate air quality.