On Monday Bridget, Andres, Chris, and Hannah got together with Noah at Clover in Kendall Square (since Restoring Roots does not have a brick and mortar location) to brainstorm.
We began by learning more from Noah about the needs and goals of Restoring Roots. Next we identified our “hard skills,” such as media production, writing, or programming to start us off with a general idea of what skills the group has and would like to further develop. We used post-its to situate our ideas graphically between a number of umbrella projects, such as working on a web or mobile app, or creating a physical product prototype.
We discussed how aspects of social media, community and client outreach and gamification may be applied to a digital project. We talked about developing a plant care and information tool that provides clients with tailored tips and instructions for their plants. A centralized, accessible information collection would be useful since Restoring Roots spends a lot of time educating clients individually. We also thought about a making an education game where users take care of plants, including digital versions of the real plants in their gardens. This app could suggest new plants based on the user’s preferences and be integrated with social media.
We considered the possibility of prototyping a physical product. Since Restoring Roots income is season-dependent, such a project could provide a source of income during the winter. We discussed developing a tool to measure the impact of the client’s garden, looking at how much water was saved, food was grown, or CO2 removed. Another idea proposed using Arduino and sensors to create a garden monitoring system.
Lastly, we discussed various community-focused projects. For example, we proposed putting on a showcase of urban sustenance food providers and community gardeners. Another proposal was to launch a participatory mapping project to identify unused or poorly used land that could be transformed for community gardening and food production.