Agrisaurus is a web application to make growing food in small spaces easier, more fun, and more successful. It began in 2010 as a side project we worked on at night after long days building and maintaining intensive food gardens for Farmscape, the largest urban farming venture in California. Agrisaurus will help novice and veteran gardeners alike learn how to get more yield out of a small plot, and it will help you manage your garden ongoing with reminders and advice.
If I plant seven Swiss chard plants, how much yield should I expect? Is that too many? When will it be ready? What's the spacing? How much water does it need? Where should I plant it with regard to my other crops? How do I harvest it?
Why is it yellow now? How often should I fertilize? With what? What's this bug? How do I know when it will be yielding? How do I remember to do so? What's a good yield benchmark? Am I succeeding? And any way, what is Swiss chard? Why does it grow like it does?
These are the kinds of questions we hope to answer for our users.
After Agrisaurus is finished, here's what you won't need to do:
And if you're like most people, you never would have done this anyway. But with Agrisaurus, it will be easy to plan your garden at this level! You, too, can grow food like a pro.
We think small-scale farming is the future. Agrisaurus will make it easier to learn how to garden and also easier to design, plan, and manage your plot throughout the seasons.
Growing food can be quite complicated, there are a lot of variables: temperature, sunlight, days to maturity, crop variety, irrigation, drainage, pests, disease, and on and on. We want to make the effort of gardening more fun, more comprehensible, and come harvest time, more rewarding.
We think gardening books are clunky. Agrisaurus will be like a gardening book, but better, because it will help you learn as you go, it will let you test different plans and see their likely outcomes, and it will give you custom advice based on your zip code and your crop selections.
Inside the app, Agrisaurus lets you create garden beds in your yard. Then you can add crops from the crop catalog, and space them out as you please.
If you want us to recommend the spacing based on our best practices at Farmscape, click the "organize" button and like magic, they will be spaced efficiently, according to their type, height, and required growing space.
Once you have crops picked out, you can plan your planting schedule using our timeline feature.
Agrisaurus will recommend ideal planting dates for your zip code based on climate data and the crop species. You can move planting dates around and see how it will affect your yield projections.
After you've assigned planting dates, Agrisaurus will keep you updated on management.
You can subscribe to alerts by email, or you can check the site regularly. Agrisaurus will warn you about weather threats, remind you about planting dates, and prompt you to perform other tasks as needed.
Why do we need funding?
Web development is costly. So are dinosaur supplies. We're confident we can make a much better product for public launch with a little bit of help from the gardening public.
We've developed a prototype of the app we would like to create. Most core functions are working great, we're very happy with our back-end, the basics of our UI, and we're on track for a spring launch after using the winter to beta-test what we've got.
We could use your support to make a broader and better feature set before the public launch. We have a baseline budget to get the project off the ground, covering some limited improvements, hosting, and bugfixing for the site as it is. Extra money raised will help us expand features like:
- Adding container gardening support
- Nonrectangular polygonal shaped beds
- A bigger and more varied crop catalog including support for perennials, bushes, and trees
- More powerful printing options
- Speed Optimizations
- Better, more thorough horticultural data
Reaching our goal will fund the development hours for this list. We want the app to be comprehensive for gardens of all shapes, sizes, and crop palettes. If you love container gardening, or if you know you want printed planting diagrams and shopping lists, or if you want to grow a broad range of interesting crops including perennials, or if you want to help us keep load times to a minimum, or if you just want to help this app be the best it can be... please donate!
Your support will help us demonstrate to the world that there's demand for an app to make gardening more amazing.
We believe a new era awaits where small farms thrive in every nook and cranny of a city, made more productive by a combination of ancient best practices and all the benefits of the information era. We believe that Agrisaurus can help us create a more crowdsourced food supply, grown yard by yard and rooftop by rooftop.
Risks and challenges
Our project faces the same risks and challenges of any graphically intense web app. We expect a lot of work fine-tuning things, working through browser compatibility issues, load-testing for a rising user base, and so forth. But we have a highly qualified team with experience working on other apps for web and mobile, so we know pretty well what to expect and we're excited to meet the challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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