[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

OK, technically it was last week in Growstuff, but I took the weekend off so you’re having it on Monday instead. So here’s a roundup of what’s interesting in the world of Growstuff over the last week, ish.

Growstuff gatherings

Growstuff developers Shiho, Taylor and Maki with gardeners Sheilagh and Ben, during our tour of Ballarat Community Garden last weekend.

Growstuff developers Shiho, Taylor and Maki with gardeners Sheilagh and Ben, during our tour of Ballarat Community Garden last weekend.

Hackstuff Ballarat went really well! We visited three gardens including a private veggie garden established two years ago, a community garden, and a second private garden that’s been established more than twenty years. We asked questions and took notes about how each garden is organised, how they track information, and more. Then we adjourned to work on some code, including better crop search and a redesigned homepage. You can see a bunch of photos on the discussion page for the event. We’d like to organise similar garden tours in other cities!

This coming week we’ll be at Open Knowledge Workshop in Melbourne, Australia, talking about Growstuff and open food data. Come join us!

Development news

We’re working towards Release 8 which means an update to the Growstuff website with new features in a couple of weeks’ time. See the link above to find out what’s coming down the pipe.

Some of the latest features we’re testing include adding photos for gardens, and improved crop search (looks for alternate names and scientific names, as well as the main name). You can see these on our staging site, or join in our testing discussions, particularly this thread for the features mentioned.

We also seem to be converging on using React.js for frontend/UI improvements. We’re going to experiment a little with it and see how it fits into our code and workflow. Got opinions? Discuss them here.

Over on Github we have a heap of recent pull requests and everyone’s been really active. We’ve recently been encouraging people to post pull requests for works in progress (WIPs) and it’s working really well for us to discuss how to do things. Special props to Marlena for her amazing work on histograms for planting advice — this is an inspiration for the rest of us for quality of code!

Part of the crop page wireframes. see more.

Part of the crop page wireframes. see more.

Finally, Skud posted some wireframes (i.e. rough sketches) for what the crop detail page might look like in the future, with lots of information on growing different crops, gleaned from our members’ data. Take a look at the discussion and let us know what you think.

From around the web


We’re looking for a volunteer to regularly curate “This week in Growstuff”. Check out the job description and drop us a line if you’re interested!

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

A roundup of what’s interesting in the world of Growstuff (and growing stuff), over the last week.

Two new crops for the Growstuff’s crop database, suggested by danielneis in Brazil: jabuticaba (Plinia cauliflora), and pitanga aka Brazilian cherry (Eugenia uniflora).

jabuticaba tree with fruit growing out of the trunk

Jabuticaba is one seriously funky looking fruit tree! CC-BY-SA Bruno.karklis

Tomorrow (Sunday 25th), the Melbourne Growstuff crew are heading out to Victoria’s goldfields for Hackstuff in Ballarat — a morning of visiting veggie gardens for research and then, in the afternoon, hacking on Growstuff to improve the website for everyone.

Over on Growstuff Talk, our developers are discussing Javascript frameworks to improve Growstuff’s user interface. Over on Github, Shiho’s working on a new improved crop search and Miles has been getting our code to deploy automatically to Heroku from Travis-CI.

Did you miss…

Last week we posted release notes for a bunch of new website features, as well as this post about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and open source volunteering.

More from around the web

  • How reducing food waste could ease climate change (National Geographic): “When it comes to looking for ways to curb greenhouse gas emissions, food wastage is a relatively easy fix—the low-hanging fruit, so to speak—and it is literally rotting on our tables.”
  • Will that trip to Havana you’re planning ruin Cuba’s organic farming system? (Takepart): “By the mid-1990s, the government had set out to become agriculturally self-sufficient and therefore combated rapid urbanization by studying and applying cutting-edge, high-yield organic agriculture principles. Today, the system—including the organopónicos—is studied and revered by sustainable food practitioners and proponents.”
  • Latest climate change battle may center on food pyramid (L.A. Times): “A revamp of the food pyramid to take climate into account would be a bold step. Despite a major push by the United Nations for countries to rework dietary policies with an eye on climate impact, none has. The Netherlands is expected to be the first when it releases a new chart illustrating food guidelines this year.”
  • Open data is finally making a dent in cities (Fast Company Exist): “Throughout the country, we are seeing data driven sites and apps like this that engage citizens, enhance services, and provide a rich understanding of government operations In Austin, a grassroots movement has formed with advocacy organization Open Austin. Through hackathons and other opportunities, citizens are getting involved, services are improving, and businesses are being built.”
  • Underground and on rooftops, farms take root in big cities (Christian Science Monitor): “On a cold and rainy Friday afternoon, Steven Dring is tending his baby carrots in a somewhat unusual setting. The green shoots are in a tray of volcanic glass crystals under LED lights – and the tray is in a tunnel 33 meters (108 feet) underneath a busy London street.”
  • 8 ways to get developers to start using your data (Forum One): “Keep in mind that opening up your data is an important first step, but you can add even more value by implementing a concerted strategy to engage with developers. It’s not easy work, but it is definitely worth the effort.”

We’re looking for a volunteer to regularly curate “This week in Growstuff”. Check out the job description and drop us a line if you’re interested!

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