Celebrating… Life!

The life of a ReFarmer tends to be so busy, one loses all perspective at times. So: here i am, “up before the chickens,” as it were -often the only time i can find in a day to address the pile of unanswered emails- when the long list in my inbox went all fuzzy, so i couldn’t bring myself to focus, and i found myself staring motionless at the screen so long, my screensaver kicked in.

Farm OS

It’s taken a bit of doing -tho less pain that i expected, thanks to good help of Developer Mike Stenta [1]- but i finally got an instance of Farm OS loaded up with all the landplots on our farm, at least in terms of high-level definitions. I’ve set up a visitor account with read-only privs at https://vdl.farmos.net/farm/areas (login/pass = Visit0r/Visit0r), so you can check out the interface and browse around the data (including interactive map), if you like.

Holistic Planned Grazing 1

“Baahhh -where’d she go, my little lamb?!” Easy as it is to lose a sheep in the forest of mums now in flower, these sheep don’t actually seem to perturbed by the lack of visibility, as they are too busy eating. These days, it is easy enough to contain them in the paddock using this “Smart Fence” which is really just quickly deployed perimeter in the form of 3 wires (charged via mains or solar battery) spooled-out around a set of step-in stakes.

Mobile Photo Blogging Workflow, Challenges

Could THE solution to mobile image management finally be at hand? THE answer (TLDR) is: NO. My more nuanced answer (if you’ve got the patience for it) is: If techology is defined, per Douglas Adams, as “stuff that doesn’t work right yet,” and infrastructure is “stuff that works so well, we’re not even aware of it,” then how this technology will ever evolve into infrastructure, i simply cannot IMAGine. Or, rather: while i could easily imagine how the big players in online media might like to develop such infrastructure and wrap us all up in its fuzzy embrace, i’m very clear that this is not a future that i would like to inhabit.


To provide some shade on the sunset verandah of our new rammed-earth farm-home, we’ve planted some climbers like this around the pillars: What’s novel about this plantation is: it’s irrigated entirely with greywater from our laundry-to-landscape irrigation system: literally running the effluent from each load of laundry to our choice of 4 different climbers that we’ve got planted at the base of each pillar. I had my as to how they might react to the laundry soap -even though we use the most ecological (i.

GROW Observatory: making an impact

Since joining this project last August, we’ve deployed a whole lot of soil sensors across our landscape and spent more than a few hours collecting and uploading data, without having any real sense of the big picture, i.e.: What is the full scope and distribution of this Citizens Observatory? and what insight can we derive from the data gathered thus far? Well… Results are only just starting to come back from The Observatory, but the picture is pretty encouraging already, at least a far as the first question is concerned.

Data visualisation 1

R, Shiny
Until i can figure out how this business of Shiny app publishing, i guess i’m stuck with the old-school method of saving graphics out of RStudio and pasting them into documents, like this post. My workflow on this operation is: copy the image of plot as visualised in RStudio; paste it into my desktop image editor, to make any needed adjustments; upload it from there to Imgur.com, which is the best online image host i have found; then paste code Imgur provides for my choice of image rendering size into the .

Shiny app publishing

R, Shiny
Met this morning with Franceso (my R dev collaborator and coach), and we got our Shiny app working well enough that i am very keen to publish it on the web. Much easier said than done! It’s pretty bandwidth intensive, as it is crunching a pretty large volume of data, and shinyapps.io just doesn’t seem up to the task. So we’re looking for alternatives. Only one i know about right now is rpubs.

Blogging in RStudio

R, Meta
I started this blog in a hurry back in January… And since then, i forgot how i did it! Took a bit of rummaging around, to reacquaint myself with all elements of the technology stack, which includes: RStudio Blogdown (RStudio addin, output thru Hugo framework, Lithium default theme) Github.com (free account) Netlify.com (another free account, connected to the former) It then took a few hours of study and play, to get the software configured and myself trained to the point where i can blog as efficiently as in Wordpress -so now i can freely appreciate the significant advantages of this file-based system.