Questions about myfood?

Circa 2010, a group of friends including myself asked ourselves:  “What are the most useful ways to invest in society in order to counter rapidly increasing unemployment?”  Naturally, our reflection did not steer us towards the stock market, but instead towards a way of repositioning ourselves towards producing goods on a small scale. For myfood, this meant empowering people to grow food. From this point on, we started experimenting with anything that seemed to fit within the world of makers and tech developers.

We offer simple solutions that give individuals the key to producing their own food to feed their family and community. To create this little wonder, we took inspiration from the most effective permaculture techniques in order to regenerate the soil, and linked it with aquaponics (a symbiosis between fish and plants with vertical growing towers). Furthermore, to minimize our solution’s daily maintenance, we added Open-Source hardware that automates certain routine tasks.

Yes, it’s contains a greenhouse, but it is not only a greenhouse. We offer turnkey solutions that are accessible to gardeners from beginners to experts. Our production units are deployable in one day. After half a day of training, the user has everything they need to start growing. Our greenhouses are connected with one another and exchange information regularly for intelligent and optimal use.

Our solutions range from 1m2 to 22m2. The largest model, the family22 model requires an area of 22m². This greenhouse’s aim is to help folks grow up to 500 kg of food annually. Other users who not do have that space available will find that our 3,5m2 City is an ideal solution. The Balcony Bioponic Tower is designed for users who want to start small or only have access to a balcony or small deck yet still want to easily grow a lot of fresh vegetables.

In order to understand the environmental impact, one needs to fully consider the whole picture: the amount of energy consumed in the process of industrial farming, as well as the transporting, packaging, preserving and marketing of products purchased regularly. By decentralizing food production and bringing it into the yard of the consumer, the carbon footprint and energy consumption is far less than that consumed during the mass distribution of goods. Meanwhile,  a microprocessor consumes only a few watts of energy and is powered by semi-transparent solar panels on the rooftop of the greenhouse.

We could never have advanced as fast as we have without the free tools we use every day (WordPress, Odoo, Raspberry Pi etc.). This is why our application’s source code is published under a Creative Common BY-SA-NC license. Nevertheless, we are still a supplier of a solution with that can be delivered and installed within 3 weeks.

Currently, our contributors and Citizen-Pioneers are helping by financing their own installations. In order to advance product development, make our solution more accessible and mature, we are corresponding with and accepting inquiries from interested investors.

Since COP21, the development camp where myfood was born, we have been receiving many comments and contributions from people who help provide a new outlook on our work. When we receive feedback, we integrate the user comments into our continuous improvement process within five weeks, regardless of whether the improvement is linked to the environmental and social impact or the ergonomics of the solution.

Around 50 contributors currently share their knowledge, help with content publication (articles, videos, proofreading, etc.), and test the solution. We have completed two deployment campaigns in Europe by installing nearly 30 smart greenhouses in recent months.

We are tackling a core social and environmental problem. It is crucial to maintain a commitment from the highest number of people possible and to have the biggest leverage in order to produce compelling results. Therefore, through the commitment of the community, the Open-Source initiatives have already shown their relevancy.  That is why we insist on maintaining transparency in this fashion.

One should try to learn to work start with simple problems with simple solutions. Most needs are very simple and do not require complex solutions. Elegance is created through simplicity. There is a need for creating, for creating simply, and for testing more than arguing. In the end, what counts is what exists, what has been proven and simply produced.

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