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Offer HN: Free Use of Agricultural Land 30 miles Northwest of Chicago
354 points by syedkarim on July 16, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 113 comments
We own 13 acres of ag-zoned land just outside of Chicago. We have access to an adjacent 70 acres. I am offering free use of the land for anyone who has an interesting project that requires land and proximity suburban/urban environment--and wifi network.

The land is located 35-miles from downtown Chicago and 25 miles from O'Hare airport. It's smack-dab in the middle of suburbia and there is a Menards within walking distance. http://goo.gl/6tjC8g

If the idea is interesting enough, I'll even build you a shed or a cabin (out of 2x4s; nothing fancy).

The land will include the following amenities, all of which is available at no cost (for really cool projects).

--well water (within reason) --septic field --electricity (within reason) --wifi --fenced and unfenced acreage

Starting next year, there will be bees, flowers, goats, chickens, dogs, and alpaca on the land. And very likely a mini-donkey, to keep the coyotes at bay.

Feel free to suggest anything you actually want to implement. Or just suggest ideas that others may want to run with. Other than providing power and internet, I don't have the time to help with anything else.

Some ideas my wife and I have come up with:

--real-life Farmville with wifi robots --tiny, automated combines --experimental wind turbine development --cubesat ground stations (not really ag-related, but still cool) --goat-milking bots

This is no strings attached. We just want to encourage really interesting technical-agricultural projects. Let a thousand flowers bloom.




I've always had the idea of growing sugarbeet on a conveyor belt. It would take 100-120 days to get from one end to another. You plant a seed with dirt at the start and a sugarbeet rolls off the end after the grow time. You filter out the sugarbeet from the dirt when it falls off (sieve).

The conveyor would be fully solar powered and it's power requirements would not be very much due to the slow progression.

Once you have the sugarbeet, you turn it in to ethanol, hopefully with another automated process.

Economics of sugarbeet to ethanol: http://www.isosugar.org/Egypt/GL2.2.pdf


Check out this conveyor belt farm in Japan: http://youtu.be/F_WuJ9P1u-k


Combine this technique with multiple layers like this: http://www.gereports.com/post/91250246340/lettuce-see-the-fu...

edit: fixed link....


Did you mean to post the same youtube clip as above?


I would guess it is more economical to move just the sugarbeet and the farming machinery, not the sugarbeet and the ground it grows in.

Plant beets on a strip 1/120 of the land each day, and after 120 days, your land will be full, and the first 1/120th part will be ready for harvesting. Harvest them, and throw them on a conveyor belt.

More importantly, each of these approaches assumes constant weather, which I doubt you will have northwest of Chicago. Those sugar beets might grow a bit slower in he months October-March or so. That's one reason farmers plant all their land at around the same time each year.


Idea was to minimise the work needed to collect the sugarbeet, I could be overestimating the automated collection of sugarbeet from the ground though :)


Sugar Beets -> Ethanol http://drinkicd.com/#top


Sounds pretty neat. Similar in theory to hydroponic factories where you plant a seed on one end, and let it slowly float down a moat and get harvested at the end of the line.


Cool idea... but doing some back-of-the-envelope calcs on this, I get:

Yield, assuming 3 harvests/year = ~ 24,000 l ethanol per year

Price of ethanol =~ $1/l... if feedstock = 50% of price, then value of beet grown = ~ $12,000/year

Neglecting all running and maintenance costs,to get a 6% return you'd need to cover your hectare with conveyor belt for $200,000... that's $20/m2, inc substructure. Considering carpet costs $40+/m2... I doubt this could be done economically.

Comments?


Carpet may cost $40/m^2 to lay down (actually a bit less than that), but it costs significantly less to maintain.

Yes, there'd be an up-front investment, but you just need to keep your maintenance down.


The commenter is already assuming no maintenance costs. The $20/m^2 is the number you'd have to hit to be economically viable (with $0 maintenance) rather than putting the money in the market for a 6% return.


You can probably beat this efficiency with algae. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_fuel#Algae_cultivation


Fully automated aquaponics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics). I've been designing and building aquaponics systems in my kitchen and front yard for the past 3 years. Nothing grows like an well-designed AP system. It's incredible how hands-off and easy they can be once setup. I'd be willing to help design and setup said system.


Please give me a link to anything from your communities that can help me get into that! Wikipedia is very good at never letting me find the people Who Do Things.


There are lots of smaller communities springing up but Aquaponics is a relatively new technology. There is not a central, well-established community for AP growing. However, here are a few links to some projects:

http://www.growingpower.org/ They have reported some insane yields off very small plots using AP technology. Also, as they grow in the midwest - the climate and conditions should be relevant.

http://practicalaquaponics.com/blog/ Murray has been a go to for my research as he has been using AP in Australia for years and has a solid, proven modular system.

I do my research on various forums, but have learned the most through my own experimentation. Feel free to hit me up with any questions.


Hey objectReason, my side project is AutoMicroFarm (http://automicrofarm.com). I'd love to chat with you about aquaponics. Would you drop me an email (andrew at automicrofarm) or provide a way to contact you?


Do you have pictures or a website set up by any chance? I'd love to take a look at your tinkerings.


No site available yet. I'm working on a github release of the plans, but it still needs work.


This is one of the oldest & most popular forums: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

Here's my build (still in progress, need to update the thread) to get an idea of what a small scale first time attempt can look like: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t...


Reddit has a semi-active aquaponics community too, it's worth checking out: http://www.reddit.com/r/aquaponics/

It's been a wanna-hobby of mine for about a year now. Been too busy so far this year though.


Get in touch. My blog (way out of date, the system is now growing veggies and has some fish, planning on stocking it heavy with tilapia this week): http://praxeology.co.uk/blog/libreponics/


Raising insects as a protein source for chickens would be an interesting and worthwhile project. (says the UN, even: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e07.pdf) Caveat: it seems that in the US, using insects as a livestock feed is explicitly legal only in Ohio. Which is odd since pastured chickens certainly gobble their share of bugs, but understandable since we don't want insects that are raised on ... extremely disgusting things ... being fed to the animals we eat.)

OfBug is already working on this, selling larvae for farmers who want to start raising insects as a protein source for their animals. http://www.ofbug.com/animalfeed

It would be fun to experiment with modular units that you raise insects in. You'd keep a pipeline of bugs in various stages of development. Then, when it's time to feed the chickens, take a module, open it up for the chickens, and watch the fun! Maybe the bug container could be made of heavy paper so it could be cheap and biodegrade quickly. Or it could be something reusable like a bucket. (That's so simple I don't think it counts as an idea. But if someone figures out a good system, they'll surely be able to turn it into a book/product line/service. Maybe they'll go to work for the UN trying to get everyone to do it.)

Of course, rotating the chickens across vast pastures a la Joel Salatin is probably the ideal way to provide fresh daily bugs as far as chicken nutrition and land management is concerned.


> using insects as a livestock feed is explicitly legal only in Ohio

Really ? That's very surprising. What's the officially allowed livestock feed? Only corporation made stuff?


I believe mad cow disease put a stop to commercial use of animal components in feed for animals that will be consumed. I don't know if this applies to insects. When I was a kid we fed burnt chicken feathers to cows.. I think that is outlawed now as well (commercially, I'm sure you could do it for home use).

I think insects to chickens is a great idea though. There are some people that grow mealworms for chickens and I've seen dried mealworms at the feed store as chicken treats.

I had some chickens this year (my first year with them). A weasel got in through a small hole smaller than my fist and killed every chicken at about 9 weeks old. He then took about half of them back out the same hole... in pieces and left the remainder for me to find in the morning. It was a pretty gruesome scene. I set some traps but was never able to catch him. But before the massacre, I would take the chickens out at night and hold them under the back porch light and they would happily stuff themselves on insects and moths landing on the wall.

I want to come up with an insect trap so as to avoid the trouble of raising insects. They are all over anyway... why cultivate them?

I'm building a better coop and am going to try again next spring.


I bet you could design a lighted tunnel that moths from the street would happily follow straight into the chicken coop! There might need to be some trickery involved, as I think tend to fly around the light and not directly at it.


> A weasel got in through a small hole smaller than my fist and killed every chicken at about 9 weeks old.

same thing happened back home earlier this year. Now we are careful and close the (new) chickens at night. Predators are merciless... :(


The idea behind cultivating them is that wild ones may come with diseases.


Various plants.


Very clever nerd sniping. Until I read this I had no idea how badly I wanted to do something with agro-tech. All my ideas so far are just too silly to mention.


I'll mention:

Square-foot garden rental. Mail in the seeds and specify the area needed (in 1ft^2 increments), service plants/waters/weeds/harvests accordingly, providing webcam/etc updates, mailing the produce back.


Even better, you get an API that gives you a photo of your square, air and soil humidity, temperature, and a call to water the square for x seconds. Planting and harvesting is manual, everything else you automate!


That sounds probably stupid, and like a tremendous amount of fun.


Garden-as-a-Service?


This is killer. I would throw in a few bucks for someone to work on this.


Isn't that basically the CSA model? Perhaps the interface to the grower has room for improvement?


I thought the CSA model was essentially pre-selling a share of the harvest. Whereas I believe this idea is to offer a plot that the user could control with remote hands? Possibly even a web-controlled arm or something?


You mean 1m^2 increments, probably. There are various paper and online resources that document the "row distance" for various crops. Those numbers are based not just on both above and below ground width of a given type of plant, but also how 'thirsty' it is. On further thought, maybe it would be legit to make your minimum unit equal to the average row distance of your most common crops.

Also, did you know that all plants are engaged in constant chemical warfare with one another? Meaning, each plant releases toxins that inhibit the growth of competitive species. I recommend a book called Carrots Love Tomatoes. Why do I mention this? Layout matters. You can't grow tomatoes adjacent to brassicas effectively.

There are plant compatibility charts which would allow you to develop a layout algorithm... BUT, there are also age-old predefined garden layout templates which are optimized not just for plant compatibility but also accessibility (you need paths to get in there and water) and beauty.

...And that folks is what happens when a programmer knocks up a gardener. :)

But have you considered renting individual plants or something, instead of squares of land? The predefined garden layouts can be scaled, but I'm not confident that they can be tiled... In this model, no individual would own any specific spot--it'd just be one big garden! s/gardener/modern anarchist/


Nah, 1ft^2. See Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening: http://amzn.com/1579548563


Wow, that guy's pretty much cornered the market on that particular three-word google search!

Do plants grow well like that?

https://www.google.com/search?q=broccoli+row+spacing https://www.google.com/search?q=cukes+row+spacing https://www.google.com/search?q=carrots+row+spacing

When I search the internet for information about agriculture, I usually keep an eye out for results from .edu webservers, rather than yuppies.

Iowa State University has a great Ag program, for example, and they cite their sources and publish their data.

I mean, you can of course rent sqft chunks of land, one unit is as good as another. Just try not to picture a 100x100 grid of squares each with a customer in the center--the plants would not grow for various reasons outlined in this thread. :)


I meant "square foot". It's a gardening thing in the USA. If you want more, rent more; 1ft^2 is the basic unit.

Good point on "chemical warfare" - and this arrangement can solve it. Unless you request a particular arrangement of adjacent square feet, the GaaS (Gardening as a Service) provider can arrange arrangement with other people's plots to improve on inter-species interactions, and do so in ways that individual gardeners can't because they don't have the scale nor variety.

Sure, rent-a-plant would work too. I prefer the "square foot" approach. My idea started when the lead post reminded me of those odd real estate semi-scams that sold "one square inch" of some otherwise desirable area, complete with legal deed; then I realized that "square foot gardening" is a thing, and ran with it, and now hopefully calbear81 will really take it somewhere.


Do you mind if I run with this idea at a hackathon? It's like your garden in Plants vs. Zombies! I had some tweaks in mind but very similar to your base idea.


Heh! Yes, run with it. Just keep me appraised.


Will do!


Yes! Please run at full steam. Go nuts.


That's basically http://www.smartbackyard.com/ (from SmartGardener.com)


I love your idea :)


> And very likely a mini-donkey, to keep the coyotes at bay.

City-boy here. How do mini-donkeys keep coyotes at bay??


They're territorial, mean, and not particularly scared.

Does depend on number of donkeys vs number of coyotes though. They're ornery, not magic.


ok - that last line is my new email sig for the next 6 months. replacing "there's no problem so bad that you can't make it worse"


I might borrow it for my signature too ;-)



South East side of Chicago / Northwest Indiana resident, recently MIT graduated software developer wanting to put some of my skills to work on something like this. Microcontroller Project Laboratory at the 'tute left me with a Cypress PSOC and crazy ideas. The extent of my gardening knowledge ends with basil, thyme and peppermint, but I had the freshest teas and tastiest pizzas in my frat. :)

Let's make drones that recognize the heat patterns of weeds and pull them for us, or laser weed spores right out of the sky...

Let's tap into the local food movement. People want to know where their food comes from. Let's make them hyperaware - live video feeds of the way the seed was planted, they watch their food grow before their eyes.


A fellow NWI resident, mobile app designer and dev in Valpo. I would love to brainstorm/help. If you're interested, let me know!


I worked with villagers in Peace Corps and Navajos in schools. What small farm tools do they need? Lighting at night and cooking during the day w/o firewood?

UAV for plant and animal monitoring. https://code.google.com/p/uavplayground/ http://unfoldingmaps.org/

We are using Arduino, GPS, Raspberry Pi. http://playground.arduino.cc/Tutorials/GPS

Biohacking would reduce animal agriculture. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/real-vegan-cheese

Biochar for farming? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

Amaranth and quinoa sprouting. We grow these well in Santa Fe, NM. But sprouting is too hard. How do we create a sprouting machine to produce sprouts without mold and endless sprout rinsing?

How can we use Ecat and Blacklight power systems for decentralized farms? Lighting and cooking? Distillation, food sterlization, fermentation, refrigeration, biochar? http://ecat.org http://www.blacklightpower.com/


Hi, I have several good ideas, some of which I've already implemented on my own property, and thousands of (possibly) less viable ideas in my wastebasket. I'm an automation programmer/sysadmin and so everything I do has to be automatable. I've found thought that often things can be automated naturally, without arduino or anything. Here are things I would look at doing: 1. Grassland management. See Alan Savoury http://vimeo.com/80518559 Note: I would do this with a honeycomb structure of hedges with automatic gates. 2. Aquaponics. I have just finished/am finishing a ~60,000L aquaponics system at my house. Naturally automated (other than planting and harvesting, which can be automated/made efficient. See my blog (posted below)

Also read up on Ben Falk's research. If you're honestly wanting me to put something in place, we'd have to discuss the details and we'd have to fly out and put things in place. I lived in Wisconsin for years but I'm working in London now and honestly I'd be VERY interested in trying some things specific to the mid-west. Good luck! Oh, to contact me, jump on #opensourceecology on freenode and shout for me I'm always on.


Where's your blog? I'm curious to read more.


"tiny, automated combines"

I've seriously wanted to explore this for a long time. When current combine technology can cost well into the half million dollar range, it seems ripe for disruption. Chicago is out of my way (and I already own farmland of my own anyway) – its capital costs that have held me back. But if anyone actually takes on this project, I'll be watching very closely.


One cool related topic is how much agricultural automation gear costs. For a robo project we used a trimble GPS with sub-meter resolution that cost around 2k, but honestly I feel like with a local radio base-station and a gps you could probably come up with something similarly accurate and cheap for way less money! I'm sure when it comes to controlling the combines automatically, it gets even more exorbitant.



Definitely. We looked into adding RTK autosteer to our tractors a few years ago. It was about $10,000 to get into a full autosteer system per machine, plus recurring costs for the correction data, which seems to be the preferred way to go. That just to drive straight. The systems that can handle turning on the headlands or synchronize between machines run even higher, at least at the time. We decided it wasn't feasible for our operation and haven't reevaluated.

However, if you can completely replace an operator as a tiny autonomous combine could, costs of that magnitude become negligible.


This article shows some small scale grain harvesting devices. They also sell small scale grain drills, mini-balers and some cool looking walk behind tractors.

http://www.ferrari-tractors.com/smallscale.htm

But for a very small patch of an acre or less, it seems that a scythe, then hand threshing with a stick and a tarp might be the way to go. That's how they did it for thousands of years. I understand it goes pretty fast if you learn how to use a scythe. The tools would cost around a hundred bucks and you would get a bit of exercise during harvest season at least.

http://www.amazon.com/Seymour-SN-9-Aluminum-Scythe-Snath/dp/...


Have you thought about contacting opensourceecology.org and offering these guys/gals?


I live 12 miles away from you. Want help? This is exactly what I've been looking to do!


I live not too far away myself. Anyone taking @syedkarim up on his offer, I would love to help out!


I welcome all assistance. Feel free to reach out.


My contact info: Twitter @syedkarim Gmail: syed.f.karim


Supercool. I have no doubts you'll find lots of Chicago-area people looking to put that land to use. However, if you are looking for a good base of people to reach out to my suggestion is to tap into Northwestern University. It's a bit hard to reach for most people there, but I'm sure you could find some people who would desire land for some project or another.


I go to NU and find this opportunity extremely interesting. I am not involved in any kind of agro-tech, but I will put a word in with people in the university's sustainability committee, who probably know of projects that might find this useful.


This is an awesome idea/project. Sadly, I do not have any project ideas that the brilliant minds at John Deere haven't already come up with because those guys are awesome (Google can't beat their driverless tractors). I would really like to see what comes of this, though. Would you mind requiring documentation, a blog perhaps?


Sure thing. Even if no one runs with their own plans, I'll be documenting the home construction and small farm process.


If it is already up, link? :)


Not yet, though it should be done in the spring. Our house will basically be a 2000 square foot concrete warehouse. I'll be sure to stop-motion the construction process.


Interesting choice. :)

Well try to post it on HN when you are done, I'm curious.


If you haven't already, you should check out The Plant. I took the trip to Chicago all the way from LA just to check out this place. When I went a couple years ago it was in its early stages, but it was still a great experience to tour the facility.

http://www.plantchicago.com/


that is an amazing project. surprised they have no software partners to help build open platforms that help run the place :)


Great idea and gesture to the community.

Does any of your land receive irrigation?

I'd like to send you several surface and subsoil sensors to deploy that will communicate back to me via GPRS. Just a couple of minutes is needed to deploy each sensor.

And it would be very helpful if you could send back a soil sample at my expense.

Does this sound practical?


I have an acre in South-East New Mexico and am hoping to get the proximate 10 acres within a year or so. If you need another soil sensor deployment I'd also install and send you photos and soil samples.

I'm an agronomist by training if it matters.

It's arid and the soil has a fair amount of gypsum. It is on a hillside around my home and has never been cultivated (except a small patch for my garden). I'll shoot you an email you can respond if interested.


This is absolutely practical. I'm happy to do this. The land was previously used as a tree farm, so there is no irrigation system. But there is some marshland on the property.

My contact info is in my profile. Very much looking forward to this.


You probably already know this, but if you think there might be wind generation potential I'd highly recommend throwing up an anemometer just for the heck of it. When I was mucking around that industry back in Oregon (helped a friend launch a business refurbishing turbines), the universities gave out loaners.

Also, you've probably already done this as well, but if the property has wetlands, those have HUGE ecological value particularly given the location. Lots of ways to monetize that ecological value these days via wetland banking, conservation easements, etc. You'd save some critters, reduce some local flooding, AND have some extra mad cash for crazy experiments. Triple win!


Can you provide more details about the ways to monetize wetlands? The property has some minor wetlands; no standing water, but soft ground (plants are used to determine wetlands, anyway).


Both wetland banking and conservation easements effectively do the same thing...you transfer/sell the ecological value to someone that values it, and lock it into being a wetland into perpetuity (or some agreed-to number of years).

In the case of wetland banking, a developer may purchase the "banking credits" produced by your wetland to offset the destruction of a wetland on their site. Google around for wetland banking or mitigation banking.

With easements, you find a local organization (usually a local land trust or nonprofit, but could be a park district or other quasi-governmental agency) that has a defined mission of maintaining wetlands, combating the urbanization of our farmlands, etc. You agree to lock up the wetland portion of your property, they give you cash.

I don't know anyone there, but a good start might be your local NRDC office: http://www.nrdc.org/about/chicago.asp

They might also be a good resource if you start playing with wind turbines.


I know a lot is happening with FarmBot right now, and that they've talked about doing larger-area experiments. You might consider getting in touch with them: http://go.farmbot.it/


This guy can populate all the land with cool projects which will eventually benefit research - http://biology.ucsd.edu/research/faculty/smayfield


Great idea, have you informed your local makerspaces? They might be able to set up a competition.

http://pumpingstationone.org/ <-- Here's one, though I've never been there.


I'm halfway across the globe so I can't quite put my code where my mouth (well, fingers) is, but this is awesome! I hope you manage to make something great!

If anyone needs any help with writing low-level software for a project here, or with anything requiring electricity, I'd be happy to help if we can release my code/schematics under a reasonable-ish open source license (BSD, GPL, MIT...). I just moved in to a new apartment so I'm kindda busy for the next two months or so, but I should be able to squeeze in at least some time.


I am a software engineer living in fox river valley, south west of the place. I work in the mapping industry. If someone is doing a project that may require mapping, ping me and I may be able to help out.

Gmail: mempko


I have always had the idea that a cool pan-age engineering education institute should be founded on such a space. In fact your offered location sounds ideal: close enough to a city to capitalize on its resources but sufficiently removed to be free of unwanted distractions.

Kids of all ages are accepted into the program, and they don't pay any fees, but have to sustain and support themselves. They form a tight-knit community as follows.

- home schooling to a new level: kids of all ages and experiences are here. Teach each other in organized classes what you know and is useful, from arts, engineering, math, physics, biology, anything. Basic supervision and occasional classes by the "founding adults".

- self-sustaining: farm some food, raise some animals, with help from on-site professionals. Use technology to improve this and help out those professionals (see below)

- BYOS: build your own school. Identify needs of the community (we need a toolshed. we need a water sprinkler system. we need air conditioning...). Learn to raise funds, some from the "founding adults", some from parents, some from neighboring city. Kids learn to work within a timeline, a budget, scoping projects, designing engineering systems, implementing, and overcoming roadblocks. As a team.

- Bring back to the real world: to graduate the institute, they basically have to create something of value to bring back to the rest of the world. Evaluated by a community panel of students, "founding adults" and external visitors/evaluators. This makes them apply what they've learned outside of the bubble they've been living in.

- alumni could obviously love this place so much they want to stay on, in which case they transition to becoming "founding adults"

Obviously, there are no exams, or mandatory lectures, or homework, or any of that shit. Kids have to learn to be good people to not get expelled, and they have to produce some meaningful value for the community every month of the year. That's it. It's a bit idealistic, but I think doable, and is more in-line with what education should be like in today's world.

If I were allowed to stay in the US and had the capital in my pocket to cover everything your generous offer didn't, I would be on the next flight to O'hare.


Sounds like a cult to me...

Or quarians, to be honest.


This is a great idea, and very generous of you. I hope it works out.

I am working on a website for small farmers to make it easier to sell what they are growing through marketing and simplified sales. I would be interested in setting up a small test farm, or just providing early access to what we are working on for whomever does use the space.

Send me an email at brad.bdavis1 gmail (or anyone else interested). I would like to chat.


I've always wanted to get into plant breeding. Unfortunately it's a bit late in the year. One crazy idea is to use robots to individually monitor hundreds or thousands of different plants. I actually looked into doing this and it's by no means trivial. Land to experiment with isn't the limiting factor.


My startup builds specialized autonomous vehicles for warehouses & factories but would be interested in experimenting in outdoor systems for agriculture.

I understand that John Deere and other companies have some amazing systems they've developed. Our goal is to produce vehicles that are easy to install, deploy, and low-cost.


This is a great offer! If someone is interested in using this land to build a high tech farm to supply the Chicago area then we'd love to work with you on ways we can push the availability, product and price information out to local buyers and distributors in real-time.


Really generous and cool of you guys to do this! That's personally too far out for me, but I could see a bunch of people taking you up on this!

It'd be cool to have a site that lists current projects on the land so we can follow and see progress.


This is a perfect opportunity to crowdfund something really cool.

If you use Crowdtilt, you don't pay any fees since they are a YC company. Just use this promo code: hnfriends

https://www.crowdtilt.com


Even though it's ag-zoned, be sure you can add animals. Crops, sure, but adding animals to a farm surrounded by suburbia when the animals weren't there already may be against that specific zoning.


In this case, we can go willy-nilly animal-crazy. Lake County fully supports the areas agricultural heritage, so as long as they are legitimately farm-related, animals are not a problem.


hmmm. we're doing greenhouse climate control, irrigation and nutrient dosing for hydroponics. i'm gonna shoot my buddy an email to see if he's interested.


Cool! What's the state of the art in greenhouse climate control (preferably passive)? Is there a PassivHous equivalent standard for greenhouses? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house)


Great idea. Don't have an experiments in mind but would love to get involved with any projects that do get accepted. How can I drop you a mail?


Thanks! Contact information is in my profile.


Check out Www.edyn.com. We are a YC company making smart agricultural sensors. Would love to chat. Email us at info@edyn.com


if you're excited about decentralized blockchain tech like Bitcoin and darkwallet, you should look up amir taaki and unsystem. they're looking for space:

https://wiki.unsystem.net/en/index.php/UnSYSTEM/Opensource_c...


Why do people keep mentioning Dark Wallet? It looks like another wallet client to me.


I think the main draw is that the wallet is being built with first-class citizenship for many of the features that provide maximum anonymity. Most other wallets seem to be implementing those things slowly, without a real roadmap. Also, those building darkwallet are some of the folks who spec'd out the BIPs for those features (if i understand correctly).

"Features" being these: [1]

- built-in implementation of COINJOIN protocol for mixing

- STEALTH ADDRESSES for address re-use. As i understand it for darkwallet, the sender can take one recipient address (like a public donation address), and create a dummy transaction with data that only the receiver can decode, containing a private key with the funds. So the receiver scans the blockchain looking for the dummy data, and can claim it, but it looks like two separate transactions. Kinda like a drop-box with cryptic public note telling that the recipient will recognize as a clue to where the money is :) [2]

- MULTISIG - being done elsewhere, but prioritized highly here.

- various UX stuff like pockets and identities to help ensure that separate histories never mistakenly mix

Still investigating it all, so likely got some stuff a little mixed up

[1]: https://wiki.unsystem.net/en/index.php/DarkWallet/Alpha#Intr...

[2]: Really good reddit explanation http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/24fy4v/dark_wallet_...


Huh, that's a very nice list, thank you for the response!


For the cabin, if I may suggest, http://hexayurt.com


I live in Chicago and grow my own food in my yard. I'm highly interested in this.

How can we talk further?


gmail: syed.f.karim


Is all the land cleared or are there some wooded areas? Is any of the land sloped?


Since it had previously been used as a tree farm, the land has few large clearings. Some portions are mildly wooded. It the midwest--no real slopes. But there is a gradient.


This is awesome idea. Hats off to syedkarim.


This sounds like the perfect place to start building my giant mechanical kill bots


Do you want some genetically engineered glowing plants? www.glowingplant.com




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