[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!

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

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

Today we updated the Growstuff website and have a bunch of great new features, including:

  • A crop “suggest” widget, instead of an unwieldy dropdown, when you are planting, harvesting, or saving seeds
  • We now show the most popular crops on the crop browse page, by default, rather than showing them in alphabetical order.
  • For those of you not on the metric system, you can now record your harvests in ounces
  • A couple of features for the benefit of our volunteer crop wranglers: we’ve made it easier to add scientific names to crops, and provided a list of other crop wranglers on the crop wrangler homepage.
a selection of commonly planted crops including bell pepper, mint, and rosemary

Showing some of our most frequently planted crops on the first page of crop results.

We also have a couple of bugfixes:

  • Fixed a bug with harvests where “pints” were being recorded as “pings”
  • Fixed a broken link on the contact page

And under the hood, our developers have improved our code by:

  • Upgrading to Bootstrap 3.2 (this is our front end CSS library, that makes the site look and feel the way it does)
  • Improved our test coverage by about 6%

Lots of good stuff here! Huge thanks to the many developers, testers, and other contributors who helped out with this release. You can see it all live on the Growstuff website.

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

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

We’ve had some busy times over the last few months, and thought it was time to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on with Growstuff since we last sent out a newsletter, as well as what’s coming up.

Growstuff Hack Night in San Francisco, Wednesday June 18th

First of all, a quick note to those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area — we’re holding a hack night on the 18th, for anyone who’d like to help improve Growstuff, or build stuff with Growstuff’s API or open data.

What’s a hack night? It’s an evening when we get together to build and make stuff in a hands-on way. It’s participatory, fast-paced, and fun.

It’s for developers, designers, data geeks, or anyone at all who’s interested. No experience necessary — we can pair you up with someone or teach you, or if you know about growing food and are happy to talk about how you do it, we can definitely use that expertise!

Interested? Find out more information on the Growstuff Blog.

We’ll be in Portland at the end of June

Skud will be attending AdaCamp and Open Source Bridge in June, so make sure to say “hi” if you’re going to be there!

New features on the site

We’ve recently added a handful of new stuff to the site, including:

  • Crop search! This much anticipated feature makes it easy to find crops from wherever you are on the site. Try it out.
  • Roots and tubers: you can now plant vegetables such as potatoes from “root/tuber”, which was previously missing from the list. Thanks to one of our newest volunteer developers, Maco, for this improvement :)
  • We’ve replaced our maps. The old map provider stopped offering services to smaller websites, so we’ve switched to Mapbox. We apologise for the short period when the map on our Places page was out of action.
  • New crops: some of our recently added crops include Good King Henry, several varieties of kiwifruit, hazelnut, snap pea, cowpea, and
    romaine lettuce. If you find crops missing and would like them added you can request them here.

3000 Acres

Over the past few months, Skud has been working on another open source food-growing website based partly on Growstuff’s code. Check out 3000 Acres, which is helping residents of Melbourne, Australia find vacant land to grow food, and build communities to grow it with.

Since the two projects share an open source license, Growstuff also benefits by being able to re-use some of the code from 3000 Acres, so you can look forward to us picking up a few new features from them, as well.

That’s all, folks!

Stay in touch by following us on Twitter — we love to hear feedback and suggestions any time.

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