Log of Collaboration with other Projects regarding powerplant

This is a log of most collaboration conversations.

Since this is more about the projects and not about personal information and the information is out there if you ask, we assume the people who replied to us are fine with publishing it here. If not please let us know: life@ecohackerfarm.org.


Hiho, We are trying to design an OS app for planning a garden by using companion planting and would like to use and enhance openfarm.cc data and data structure. We are at the moment at the datastructure workflow and specifcation phase and would like to know more, how we can integrate best with openfarm.cc.
1. Our focus is on companion planting so our model for companion planting is not satisfying enough. For example we want to rank the relation between crops. at the moment for not compatible -1, 0 neutral, up to 3 very good. Also we want a comment on the relation.
2. for our app to work good we need much more data and want to store it with openfarm.cc but for that we need a quite compatible model and the rights to do so.
3. We thought already also about to connect a openfarm.cc member account integrated with our app - any hints how we should approach that?
4. How good would it be to change/enhance your models to fullfill some needs of ours - see 1.
I leave it for now and would like some feedback
We build our specs at the moment in our own ticket system and publish it in our wiki - but as I said we are quite at the beginning: https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/companion_planting:development_log
powerplant - Optimize and assist planning your garden


Hi @justthebee
1. Have you already gather content about that to see if/ how it works? Which stage are you at?
2. We also lack data, so not sure what you really need from Openfarm database?
3. What about creating an account yourself, and populate it w data? So you can play around with it
4. Openfarm also has priority needs at the moment, so not sure how your own needs could be included in our list… (see our backlog on Github: https://github.com/openfarmcc/OpenFarm/projects )
This seems to be an interesting project, though it seems that you require more from Openfarm than what you can bring to it. Unless I don’t understand your point.
What’s your take on that @roryaronson @simonv3 ? (edited)


@justthebee welcome :wave::skin-tone-3: I think your project sounds pretty cool, and that data would be very valuable to host on OpenFarm. As you've noticed, the companion planting feature on OpenFarm is currently very basic: a plant can either be a companion or not. Adding more granular compatibility (-1 to 3 for example), along with commenting on the relation would be great. It would require some code contributions though.Are you/is your team capable and interested in contributing to the OpenFarm codebase to make the companion model more robust? Or are you only interested/capable of contributing data once the infrastructure is in place?


^ yeah, that final question is pretty important for us. I’m happy for the contributions, but I’m pretty swamped over the next few weeks to elaborate on the Companian Plants myself.



thx @sophiakc @roryaronson OK I try to be more specific. At the moment we have the goal to develop this app. > At one point we have to collect the data also and actually we thought that we fetch and put the data into openfarm.cc. We know that you don't have the data either, but we want to enhance your data base. Also we don't want to collect and store plant data in another open source project and we think that the quality and quantity of your data will improve. Maybe even with our help.
So 1. we only need to enhance your model: Companionship{ crop1:crop, crop2:crop, description:String, compatibility:int} We could do that probably ourself and send a pull request, but if it never gets pulled we are stuck with something where we will be never compatible with; We derived/changed that model actually from PlantBuddies: https://plantbuddies.serlo.org/
We can invest some time into doing it and are willing to but we are no experts in ruby though, but have some motivational skills for other people - we are building up a hackerspace/ecocommunity in germany at the moment and this is one of our projects and we have at least a little bit of community already. :slightly_smiling_face:
So 2. we want to enhance your data: Users our app should be able to input own crop information and companionship information which we want to store in openfarm.cc. Would the approach be that we create a user e.g. Powerplant and add data to it? I think that's not really nice though. We would like that users on our app can create an account with openfarm.cc (in the app) and post their own information.
3. We would like to push crop data we collected already and data we collect in the future (which we have to do anyway for our app) into openfarm.cc. For that we could create a specific user and use the api hopefully. Right?In general we are motivated to enhance opensource software and open data, especially for using with permaculture principles. Hopefully we'll get soon some EU funding to sustain this place and develop more software and enhance tools like yours. That's where we come from and that's our motivation to do so.


Hi, I'm Simon. I'm working with Franz to develop this project as well so hopefully I can help answer questions and figure out exactly what this could look like. As Franz said, our goal is really to improve the data that is out there on gardening using companion planting. Creating yet another incomplete source of data would be counterproductive to this - we'd much rather add on to what's already out there.


Hi Simon,

It was great to meet you on the farmOS call - thanks again for joining!

Is your goal to finish the companion planting app within the next 2

months? If so, I probably won't be able to help much, unfortunately. I am currently busy with a set of grant-funded farmOS modules that have a tight deadline of August 1st, and another project that needs to be done before the end of August as well. I may still be able to provide some guidance here and there though.

From your perspective, what would the pros/cons of integration with FarmOS
be? Or even if it's not built directly into FarmOS, of using shared data?

The benefit of building on farmOS is that farmOS already has a full set of features for managing plantings, mapping areas, creating logs for seedings, transplantings, harvests, inputs, etc (as well as other modules for livestock, beekeeping, maple production, equipment management, and soon: compost). farmOS will eventually have a more sophisticated companion planting decision tool regardless of whether or not we work together on it - it's a logical add-on to the growing set of features. So combining efforts on it would benefit both of us - and if Eco Hacker Farm adopts farmOS for their own record keeping then they get all the other features that it comes with.

Alternatively, designing a shared crop data format that both (separate) systems used would also be very useful. And could provide a basis for other systems to use it as well. Read through some of the discussions in that Github queue I linked to during the hangout for some specific examples that we've already been talking about: https://github.com/openfarmcc/Crops/issues

The main disadvantage of working together that I can think of is that it might take longer. If your requirements are clear cut and you know how to do them without involving anyone else, then that is going to be the easiest and quickest way to create something. So if your time is limited, that might be the best way to go. Taking this approach doesn't necessarily remove the possibility of working together in the future, of course. If you're designing it with potential future integrations in mind, then we may be able to find ways to plug our efforts together later on. Creating a quick MVP (minimum viable product) can be a great exercise in learning about the requirements too - sometimes you don't really know exactly what something will need until you dive in.

Perhaps the tool you build could be included in a module in farmOS in the future, with minimal alteration of the backend code. It's hard to say exactly what that would look like ahead of time, but designing with that possibility in mind would allow it to be a future consideration.

Hope that helps! I look forward to brainstorming more! :-)

All the best,

Simon (powerplant) Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 8:20 AM

Hi Mike,
It's Simon from the meeting yetserday. I'm staying here in Germany with
Aimee and Franz for 2 more months, and I'd like to get as deep into this
companion planning app as I can (right now, the working name is Plant
Match, abbreviated PM). I appreciate you offering to help out on this!

I don't know if you've looked through our software specs, which I think
Aimee sent to you, but the jist is this: the goal is to help the user plan
what crops to plant together and when to plant them for increased yield and
better soil health. This will require data on best planting times,
estimated harvest times (just to the month), companion information, and
various other requirements like soil type, climate, water, light, etc.

From your perspective, what would the pros/cons of integration with FarmOS
be? Or even if it's not built directly into FarmOS, of using shared data?

Any other advice you've got would be helpful I'm sure :) The development
process has been a little scattered so far.

  • powerplant/collaboration_log.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/12/20 00:56
  • by aimeejulia