Recycled Server Racks and Repurposed Shipping Containers Foster a Sustainable Garden

Climate change, food shortages and biomedical engineering are all farming related topics addressed by SproutMesh.

SproutMesh is a self-contained, automated gardening system that repurposes server racks and shipping containers to house crops.

Whether a restaurant is interested in growing its own food or arctic researchers need a sustainable food source for biomedical engineers need perfect growing conditions for lab work, SproutMesh offers a solution.

Each rack is able to provide the perfect growing conditions for a variety of crops. Remote sensors control air temperature, fertilizer concentration, PH concentration, carbon dioxide, light output and air circulation. Through wireless technology and open-source software, SprouthMesh is able to provide the perfect “climate recipe” for fully-automated crop growth.

The project- demonstration hardware accomplishes the following:

  • Two identical growing environments for the same crop
  • A third growing environment for a larger crop
  • Shared resource management via ebb-and-flow
  • One main computer managing multiple nodes
  • Shared hardware, electronics, and resources
  • A single-source power supply with safety features
  • Modular server-blade-style panels for electronic components and pumps

SproutMesh is the brainchild of a team of electrical and computer engineers, which includes David Beavers, Montrell Frei, Samuel Kellar, Prosper Mapfeka, Caroline Newman, Justin Peabody, Luis Rodriguez, Christopher Woodle.


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