This week, Wild Roots transplanted tomato, pepper, and basil seedlings. Other Illinois farmers, like Henry, of the Evanston farmer’s market, did their equivalent at much larger scale. All this work was accomplished by human hands. This week in Belgium hydroponic lettuce is being grown in water so that a robotic assembly line can tend the crop. Watch the machines in action here. Overall, I think there’s a place for each type of agriculture. The automation might be worth it on balance if the crop is more successful, there is less waste, or the greenhouse eliminates the need for use of certain pesticides.
Wild Roots is aiming to install its own drip irrigation system, and we’ll have to decide whether to automate it. Our partners at Engineers for a Sustainable World are asking us to consider it. Many of us at Wild Roots prefer to utilize our own manpower in tending the garden because it means we’ll get to spend time here. So hats off to getting your hands dirty! That is the draw for so many of the Wild Roots members and volunteers.