Report back from FarmHack@MIT

We had a great time at MIT, where we brought farmers, engineers and other thinkers together to invent things together. Here’s a play-by-play live blog of the day; here’s the video of the presentations of the day’s inventions.

After pitches of about 15 ideas, we self-organized into groups to work toward prototyping six projects:

  • an electric assist, super garden cart, multi-functional for tasks ranging from lie-down weeding to compost hauling and dumping;
  • the Trike-tor, a three-wheeled bike-based tractor;
  • a new model of sustainable cranberry production, featuring sustainable water management;
  • the next generation of cheap, farm built, modular tine cultivators;
  • food safety infrastructure, both software (record keeping) and hardware (wash tubs, sanitation sensors, water coolers), for small-scale farmers; and
  • a self-flushing, self-closing irrigation valve for the ends of sprinkler irrigation lines.

We’ll be working on getting posts up with more details about each project, and helping to facilitate taking these projects forward. Want to host a similar FarmHack event in your neck of the woods? Let us know at, we want to do this all over the country. Thanks to everyone who made the MIT event a success!

Working on prototypes for modular tine cultivators

There were lots of ideas that included bicycle parts!

Testing an irrigation valve prototype (made of paper and plastic cups, hot glue, and a ping-pong ball) in the sink

Team sustainable cranberry bog

Members of team tine cultivator, with their just-prototyped bike-spoke weeding tools

3 Responses to “Report back from FarmHack@MIT”
  1. steve shoap says:

    Farm Hack was fantastic.
    I look forward to future work with young farmers.

    Please put an RSS feed option on your blog.
    I rely on my Google Reader for info.

  2. Way to go farmers and engineers!! I just learned bout your Farm Hack event, and I’m cheering you on from my farm in snowy (but sunny today!) Vermont. We need all heads to get together and make our job more efficient, ergonomic and environmental. I’m inspired that so many up-and-coming people are excited about farming too. Rock on!

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