We got published in France!

The Horto domi smart garden project just received some exceptional foreign media coverage in the French Le Monde – Science and Technology!


Here is a link to the LeMonde – Technology and Science publication:



This is a Google translation of an article published on Horto domi in Le Monde’s Sceince and Technology section on August 18th, 2012.

Technological fashion “do it yourself” has a new avatar: gardening. Two young Texans Will Bratton and Samuel Bagot, propose simplifying gardener’s life (and organic) with a greenhouse automated and remotely controllable. “Many people have space for gardening but they do not have time, “laments Will Bratton that each dream “productions emancipated centralized “and has a healthy diet. “People will just have to focus on most: planting, harvesting and eating. “Their project Horto Domi, has received more than $ 11 000 with the platform Kickstarter fund raising, which hosts many DIY projects home. This money will be used to disseminate plans and how employment of the third version of the greenhouse, so that everyone can create his own dome. Philosophy is that open source, that is to say maximum transparency for a broadcast the widest possible improvements by the user community. New sensors for better control parameters the garden are already in development. The inventors even imagine several interconnected greenhouses for these productions and more massive diversified. Once built the greenhouse, the gardener amateur just has to feed tray earthworms with scraps or manure (which provides best results). “The idea is original. But Presumably, this project was developed by specialists in electronics than in agriculture. I wonder about the control inputs of fertilizers, which may depend on crops for example, “says Philippe Caillard, director of the National Center Horticultural Promotion (Maine-et-Loire). It will also ensure the thickness of earth power plant carrots or roof height for tomatoes.

1. Main tray

The land is isolated from the environment in order to install the system anywhere. The circular surface is about three square meters. The tray can be made of wood or metal.

2. Bin worms

This wooden enclosure called vermicompost, has two floors. It contains soil, waste organic household and worms earth. These join the garden by traps. The liquid compost, called “tea”, is recovered for use as fertilizer. 300 to 800 per cubic meter to guarantee 300 to 500% more production.

3. Greenhouse

The greenhouse is a polyhedral framework Assemblies of metal tubes hand, covered with canvas plastic. The set has the form an igloo.

4. Roof

Two fans guarantee automatic ventilation. Two lamps are used for illumination or to increase the heat. In the center, a shower used for watering the garden.

5. Sensors

Moisture two tanks, temperature, acidity may even land be controlled, allowing the action back watering, fans …

6. Sprinkler systems

Pipe feeds the central tank. Another, possibly enriched the natural fertilizer recovered centrally fed to the roof watering from above.

7 & 8. Electronic Enclosures

A micro-controller (sort of microprocessor model) integrates the sensor measurements and user commands for decide to water, ventilate, heat … The mixture of water and fertilizer is also automatic. A network connection allows by remote control a telephone or website.

*The figure on necessary earthworms per cubic area sounds a bit outrageous to me in meters, 300-800 per cubic meter. In cubic feet one only needs 10-25 earthworms to realize 300-500% increased production. So by my calculations that’s more like 270-675 per cubic meter, but in either case, that is basically the volume of the entire growing bed, so I guess it isn’t that outrageous.


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