Entry #4- Hydroponics and the Refugee Crisis

This week, we learned more in depth about various refugee situations across the globe, including their needs and available resources. This helped my team to form more specific ideas about the type of system we want. We are still sticking with the wick system, because of its simplicity and affordability. But we decided to add on to the system a manual air pump. Using an electric one is both complicated and expensive, and would make the entire garden vulnerable in a power outage. A manual pump will improve the oxygen and nutrient supply to the water and plants. We also decided against lettuce as our chosen test-vegetable. After hearing more about the refugee situations and food shortages, I think that a vegetable or fruit with more substance and greater nutrition would be ideal. I believe our team will pursue kale, since it grows well with wick systems and works similarly to lettuce, although it is also packed full of more nutrients and will satiate hunger for longer periods of time. Understanding the refugee crisis more deeply made me so excited for our OS project this semester. It put the project into “real-life” terms and helped me see how what we’re doing and how what everyone across the globe is able to do through open-source design could have incredible impact in poor conditions such as these camps.

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