I got a late start on my summer garden this year for reasons I won't bore you with, but I'm pretty pumped to report that it's all in order now! I'm also crushing on these wooden herb markers from Magnolia Market...
Bonus: the folks at Edyn Garden contacted me to try out their new garden sensor just as I was replanting, so this was truly a golden opportunity to whip everything back into shape ASAP! Since I had just read about Edyn on Dwell Magazine's website, I was especially excited to try it out for myself. In a nutshell, this bright little solar-paneled sensor is placed into your garden, and once connected to your wifi, continuously monitors the light exposure, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition, and moisture levels of your garden. You can access all of this info as you please via an app on your mobile phone.
I was pretty taken aback by the fact that the device is able to cross-reference and pull info from plant, soil science, and weather databases in order to work its magic. I was able to ask Edyn's inventor and CEO, Jason Aramburu, a few questions about the product line. Read on to learn more about his story!
Q: Was there a particular inspiration or turning point that kickstarted your idea for Edyn?
A: I was working with thousands of farmers in Western Kenya, testing a new agricultural soil amendment that improves soil moisture retention. I needed an easier way to keep track of what we were doing in our trials, but found many of the commercial soil moisture sensors prohibitively expensive and not flexible.
Q: How long had you been gardening before you began to dream up the system and all of its functionalities?
A: Almost my entire life. My mother had a 40’x40’ food garden plot growing up.
Q: How long did it take to fully develop Edyn, start to finish?
A: It’s been about 2 years of work.
Q: What is the single most moving/intriguing story or testimonial you’ve received throughout your testing phases?
A: We have Kickstarter backers using Edyn in the rural part of Kenya where I previously worked. It’s pretty crazy to think that people over there are now connecting their food gardens to the internet, and have access to the same type of technology and information as growers in the developed world.
Q: Edyn is a helpful tool to gardeners of all skill levels, but it can also save precious water. Can you explain the Edyn watering valve option and how it works hand-in-hand with one's existing watering system?
A: Sure. When you first install the valve, you connect one end to your water source and one end to your existing irrigation system — it basically replaces your hose end valve timer, and takes about 30 seconds to install. The Valve uses a complex algorithm to learn about your particular garden (soil type, water holding capacity, irrigation system type etc) and build a watering schedule. It actually monitors the soil moisture data reported by the sensor, and only delivers water to the garden when necessary.
In year two of a major drought here in Northern California, conserving water is imperative. So the fact that the Edyn app can tell me when I don't NEED to water my garden...from my phone, while I'm enjoying my morning coffee on the couch...that's amazing! And as mentioned above, there's also another piece you can purchase to connect to your water source for even greater reduction in water usage. I'm really enjoying having a real-time snapshot of my garden's health on my phone, no matter how far away I am, and I've ultimately watered less than usual too. Win-win for sure!
In other news, our fruit trees are bursting with goodness, too! We've got apple, nectarine, pear, and meyer lemon trees in our little yard. Good thing I love making jams and jellies :)