The Future of Farming is Open Source

Originally posted on Make::

dscn0701 Farm Hack shows off their pedal-powered compost chipper at World Maker Faire New York.

Farmers are innovators, which is a nice way of saying that they really like to tinker with things. They were hacking complicated machines and developing new technologies long before server farms sprouted up and cloud computing reigned. Despite the fact that some farmers in the US began using satellites to help manage their farms back in 1994, many of us still picture farmers commanding nothing more advanced than a rusty, old John Deere.

While grassroots agricultural innovation is advancing by leaps and bounds, the public typically hears a great deal more about the biotech of the laboratory than the homespun-tech of the farmyard. Our collective understanding of how to recognize forwarding-thinking farming practices and technologies is just starting to catch up. While farmers who patent the results of their efforts are often acknowledged as inventors…

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