Urban Agriculture: Rooftop Garden Update

November 27, 2016 | ProgressTH Part of what ProgressTH does is advocacy, the other part is putting ideas into practice. While our rooftop garden is small, it is a proof of concept with the ability to expand both at this particular location, and on other roofs nearby.

Growing Barrels 

Originally, we were using raised beds with ferroconcrete panels. This was labor intensive, time-consuming, and left the soil laying right on the rooftop. Having sourced relatively cheap 200L HDPE blue barrels, we ended up with a light-weight solution that easily allowed us to double our soil volume and keep the soil off the rooftop.

3D Printing: Custom Ventilation for Air-Warmed Blanket

November 20, 2016 | ProgressTH As part of ProgressTH's collaboration with local children's hospital, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health (QSNICH), we were presented with a challenge in distributing warm air evenly through a custom made blanket used to warm babies during surgery.

The blanket consists of 3 evenly-sized pockets connected at one end through which warm air is introduced via a mechanical blower.

When the air is blown in, it moves directly through the middle pocket, bypassing the other 2 on either side. Creating a 3-way duct with plastic tubes of equal diameter also resulted in a similar phenomenon.

Producing even air flow into all three pockets required borrowing some ideas from interior ventilation systems. Recall how ventilation ducts differ in diameter, becoming smaller as they work their way deeper into a building's interior from fans conditioning and pushing air from a single starting point. The smaller diameter creates even pressure and equal distribution throughout the system, otherwise the air would simply move in the straightest, easiest path possible, bypassing vents along the way.

You can find more information, including diagrams, here at ventilation-systems.com.

Raitong Organics: Advice for Organic Farmers and Makers

November 4, 2016 | ProgressTH Raitong Organics, based in Sisaket, Thailand, has provided a good example of just how far a single farm can take organic agriculture. Selling to customers both inside Thailand and abroad, Raitong Organics has been active in the organic farming community for years. 

We recently interviewed Bryan Hugill (pictured above, right) of Raitong Organics to find out more on how farmers interested in making the transition from conventional agriculture to organic agriculture could get started. We also wanted to know what he thought about the role makerspaces could play in developing innovations for organic farmers.

We begin by asking about Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), as this is the easiest certification for farmers to obtain when switching over to organic agriculture, and is the system used by several of the organic farmers we are currently involved in networking with.