Samuel Yisrael is one of GROW’s sensor users from Northamptonshire. He has set up his sensors on his farm and has learned new things about his land through data he has gathered.
First, the sensors inspired him to map out the community farm. As the project required the mapping of the site, they were able to do a full permaculture assessment of the farm. With the help of a permaculture intern, they were able to see the farm’s current state and this allowed them to plan for the future: “we wanted to get an assessment of what we had achieved on the farm, what was happening now and plan for the future” as Samuel put it.
Sol Havens is an eco-sustainable permaculture farm with an education and rejuvenation centre that provides individuals…
Samuel has some plans to use the sensors as an interactive learning activity for students. The map will be an on-site display board to allow visiting schools to do a treasure hunt with the sensors. It will be produced with a smartphone app which can be used to hunt for the sensors, following a list of clues.
Using the sensors, however, came with a few challenges. “Some of the sensors take time to connect and the app has a lot of updates. However, once we understood the basics of how to use them, it has gotten better,” Samuel said.
The sensors also provide insights of the bigger picture and will help in future planning through the data gathered.
For Samuel, the sensors have provided some thoughts with how the land changes within a small space. They carried a soil survey out on the area where they put a sensor and were surprised at how the soil content changed so much. Different areas are affected differently by weather, with some getting boggy in the rain and others take a lot for the rain to penetrate. He hopes that sensor users’ data can be used nationally to adapt to the changing climate.