Tuesday 2/07 introduction to the class

HW reading Horticulture Today Chapter 10

Write a  Response on the Digital Farm  Documentation blog answering these questions.

What is a photoperiod and how does it relate to photo quantity vs photo quality. What is “leaf burn”? What is Etiolation ? What is photoperiodism? How can plants be “force flowered”? What is phototropism? What is the Q10 Temperature Coefficient? Due Thursday 2/9

Thursday 2/9 Lecture chapter 10.

HW:Due Tuesday

Read chapter 11.

Bring in a small plant for the green wall project. House plants are available at plant markets and some large grocery stores. Leafy plants like ferns, peace lily or colorful plants are preferred.

The Central Flower Market in Pudong has lots of plants and good prices.

I have never been to the Caojiadu market

 F 2/10

Lab: Water source testing for heavy metals, pH, dechloronation and TDS Sensor

HW: Read chapter 12. Post your data from the lab to the documentation blog

include photos of the heavy metal test strip and other data.= and conclusions.

T 2/14

lecture chapter 12.

Putting plants in the green wall.

HW:Read chapter 20 in Hortaculture Today

R 2/16

Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaponics.

HW: Post to the class blog and explanation of hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics and what the benefits of each are.

 F 2/17

LAB:In class demo back yard soil collection, analysis and posting.

HW 1st Soil collection

 T 2/21

Test the soil samples in class document your results and publish  to Fulcrum.

HW Reading chapter 13- Seed Propagation.

Answer these questions in a blog post.

  • What factors are needed for seed germination?
  • What factor is the most critical factor for germination?
  • What is germination media and what is it optimized to do?
  • Is germinating media more likely to be native soil or soilless?
  • what is the difference between a landrace and an heirloom variety?
  • what is an open-pollinator?
R 2/23 review collection data.

Lecture Germinating, start germinating  seeds

HW: reading Gardening Indoors w Soil and Hydroponics Chapter 1, chapter 2

watch this 12 minute video about aquaponics

watch this 7 minute video about a guy who switched his aquaponics setup to hydroponics

Assignment: Take something you use everyday or is usually discarded after use and repurpose it for use in growing a plant. This can either be for germinating, growing, watering or other horticultural use. You will be graded on creativity, usefulness, approach (reasons for choosing the recycled object) and demonstration of use. Due in class 3/2

 F 2/24

Continue Rooftop lecture

planting Microgreens

HW:Reading Gardening Indoors Soil & Hydroponics Chapter 3- Vegetative growth


T 2/28 Guest Speaker


R 3/2

Look at recycled object

Move Microgreens to sunny spot

Lecture: Sensing and control- Using the arduino

  • HW: Download and install Arduino IDE on your computer
F 3/3

Lecture: Using Arduino for Grow Control Hydroponics and computer controlled growing,

T 3/7 Arduino control lecture

HW: Read about the Vinduino project Write a 200 word blog post explaining how the project saves water and what the problems are with traditional watering. Why do they use gypsum in their custom moisture sensors?

R 3/9

LAB: In groups  use the Arduino  to Build a gravity drip, ebb and flow or NFT hydroponic system for 4 plants that pumps water to a storage container, stops when full, drains completely than restarts the pump 15 minutes later.

 You will need to adjust the water flow so containers do not flood, also consider what containers you will use and what materials you might need to bring next class.   Class time Thursday and Friday

F 3/10 Work on systems


T 3/14

Guest lecture Roger



R 3/16- Hydroponic systems due, in class presentations

Start Basil Seeds



HW:DUE FRIDAY 3/17  We need an image to make a new moss wall. Design or repurpose an image to make a moss wall from. The image should be black and white and have some visual appeal. We will vote of the best ones to choose which we make a wall from. Due Thursday 3/10/16


F 3/17

Vote on image for moss wall and make it.


The Midterm will consist of two parts:

  1. Exam  20%
  2. Project 80%

A short exam will cover basic concepts of plant and soil science we have covered so far this semester. We will have a review in class before the exam, if you have done the readings you should do fine on the exam.

The midterm project you can choose between two project guidelines.

    1. “living sculptural object
    2. Growing Air
  1. “living sculptural object”. For this assignment the term “sculptural object” can be broadly defined as a physical thing with a plant component.

Consider how people will interact with this object, is it wearable, is it a living exterior covering something? Does it serve a function like air filtration? Does it incorporate any other technology? Is it making an artistic statement such as protesting environment change or the concept of nature? Is it a series of small objects or one larger one?

Also consider the materials you choose, will it degrade over time or is it designed to last? What plants will you use? Grasses sprout fast but adding other plants add texture.

2. Growing Air: Using articles you have read and your own research design and build a plant system for filtering VOC’s and other toxins from the  air.

Things to keep in mind include your choice of plants and how you choose to grow them. Consider ways in which you could make the natural qualities of the plant more efficient. It there a fan? Activated charcoal growth media?

Explain how your system could scale to provide air for one person and perhaps more. Graded on creativity, predicted function, scalability, visual interest,

Final Project is due 3/31

HW: Due Tuesday 3/21. Prepare a short presentation of your mid term project concept to present individually to other students on. What does your project look like, What is it made of? What types of plants are you using? How will you use the Arduino? Are you using any special sensors? Provide a link to a text or article supporting your design choices either as an art object or scientifically as a air filter.

HW: Reading

T 3/21-Project concept speed dating. Students will present their midterm ideas to each other individually.HW Prepare a presentation of your idea to be presented to the entire class on Thursday 3/23. also Post a 500 word blog entry describing your project concept.
 R 3/23- Work on midterm
F 3/24 review for exam/

work on midterm/

T 3/28 Mid term test

/ work on midterm project /

R 3/30  Midterm exam retest

/ work on Project


F 3/31-in class midterm presentations.

Post a 300 word blog entry reflecting on  how your project turned out and what you might do differently.

HW for after spring break

: Read Gardening Indoors Chapter 7 Lighting. Post  blog entry answering the following questions:

  1.  If plants start to look stretched out or “leggy” what is the likely cause?
  2.  What is the inverse square law and how does it affect the distance of a light from a plant?
  3. Which is more effective one 1000watt light or three 400 watt lights?
  4. What does “full-spectrum” light mean?


 April 1-9 spring break
 T 4/11

Lecture: Lighting

Lab Monitoring times

R 4/13 Lecture: Growing on different materials.

Germinate basil seeds for hydroponics.

Assign Final Project: :Plant Life Support System!

Goal is to keep plant alive in a visually, conceptually or technically though-provoking way using technology we have covered and also experimenting with things not covered in class. To accomplish this you will have to do some research and use some techniques not covered in this class such as 3d printing and fabrication which fellows can help you with.

   Thoughts to get you started:

  • Address problems of urban farming?
  • Diy and recycling, repurposing?
  • Hydroponics is moving water, how might that be interesting?
  • Unusual places for plants.
  • Unusual uses for plants.
  • How are you interpreting “ life support system’?
  • How will you display it during the end of semester show?


F 4/14


Friday lab we will be growing grass! Grass is great because it sprouts fast if kept moist and is cheap. I will provide grass seed, soil and some other materials. We also have other seeds available.  Now is a change to test your recycling project or test out a new idea.

This project will require you to keep your grass seed moist (but not too wet) and happy. If it dries out it will die if it stays wet all the time it will die. You will have to lightly  water it everyday for the first week or two. Remember the factors that control germination, heat, air, water. You must master the control of all of them. We will look at them Friday 4/21 and again 4/28 documentation is due for both dates to show progress.


 4/15 field trip?
 T 4/18  Mushroom Lecture 

HW: Check out  and What are some of the potential benefits of this project? Of the featured materials which do you find the most interesting? write a 220 word blog response. Due april 21



R 4/20

Mixing nutrients and Monitoring Nutrient levels


Hydroponics setup, Setup raspberry pi system, calibrate ph sensor

HW: collect 2nd soil sample,  test the samples and upload to Fulcrum and documentation server. Deadline Tues 4/18

Begin Lab Student lab times. Students should record data from the farm on their chosen day including the time (check-in). Students failing to do so will be deducted lab points. Measurements and Photos of the ammonia test results should be posted on the documentation server as well as written on the paper sheet in the farm.


F 4/21

Review Grass Projects

Lab: Making Kombucha

 T 4/25- Final Project concept presentations
 R 4/27 Continue presentations

Install Pi-top sensors

Convert green wall to hydroponic

peristaltic pumps and tubing


F 4/28

Making Tempeh

Review Grass Projects

HW:2nd soil test. Take a soil sample from an area that has not been sampled before. Do the test using the testing kit supplies in the farm and post the results in Fulcrum and in our documentation blog by Friday 5/5. Remember you must let the sample sit in water until it is no longer cloudy before testing it.

 T 5/2 Take cuttings of Basil plant

Lab: Build an lcd readout for humidity and water and relay.

HW: Write an approximately 500 word essay in which you  propose what you will do  for your Final Project, and explain materials and technology you will use. Explain how your project is a ” Life Support System for Plants”.

 R 5/4 Micro greens Redux and peristaltic pumps.

HW: read this for tomorrow:


 F 5/5 work on final
 T 5/9 work on final
 R 5/11 Work on final

F 5/16 Work on Final



 T 5/18 Final Project presentations
 R 5/19 Show setup