Southeast LinuxFest & GOATech

I met @TheArcMage at SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) a couple of years ago. SELF is like a regional Linux users group that meets once a year. It’s kinda special from my point of view.

This year, @TheArcMage gave a talk about using free software with permaculture. I knew it was coming because we’d discussed it a little in the lead-up, and it felt like the beginning of a broad, important conversation.

We met a handful of others at that conference with experience or interest in that same nexus of agriculture and technology, and @TheArcMage pointed us toward GOAT as the logical place to continue the conversation.

As a technologist with a background and keen interest in free (as in freedom) software, I’m also curious about where my food comes from and how it’s made. I’m gradually waking up to the value of engaging with making food happen.

I expressed casual curiosity about growing food to the @TheArcMage, and he gifted me a copy of One Straw Revolution, which I read with interest and found to be thought provoking and inspiring.

For some reason, I decided to start with dirt. Compost, that is. I had a bunch of dead leaves on my property and set about cooking them up with grass clippings and kitchen scraps. I’m a few months in, and I still have a few hundred gallons of yard waste, but no usable compost yet. I’m getting closer. The piles are “eating” themselves and giving off significant heat.

Next up, testing and amending the lawn soil.

Then: some kind of kitchen garden to experiment with gilding.

I also want to grow some yams/sweet potatoes. Those are fantastic on a campfire.


It was so good to connect with you, @qrkourier, @TheArcMage and others that were interested in the nexus that connects food, power, water and technology. I am excited to work together to build on these concepts and bring data to this much needed sector of technology and food. Please reach out if there is anything I can do and I will be doing the same.


Hey everyone, it was awesome meeting you all at linuxfest. I’m looking forward to learning more about the space where agriculture and tech meet.

I currently don’t have any projects going on my property yet, but I will be interested in starting something soon. If anyone has any recommendations of where to start let me know.


Dudes and Dudettes,

It was indeed a fortuitous and profitable exchange of information. What a great crowd and seed (pun intended) for continued network exchange. @qrkourier and I have debriefed already and have some game plans that we’ll continue to post here and make sure to involve @lizb in everything, so Farm Hack is kept abreast of development.

Our first order of business was to get this here GOATech hub set up for the Southeast and get people onboarded, so, success!

Keep on checking in. It’s going to take some time. Anybody interested in organizing parallel GOAT events for next years SELF will have a thread here. Our Self-Goat-Sandbox FarmOS instance is also a great new little toy.

I’ll be back. Great to get this going!


It sounds like a great event. I’m glad you all connected and got inspired. It’s really good to think and collaborate about how we can be involved in the production and use of our critical resources- like water, food, power. Looking forward to sharing more about our ideas and interests!

I’m particularly interested in pumps and irrigation systems, arduino/ sensors/ automation, energy generation, and compost/ nutrient cycling.


Here’s the two files I used to self-host farmOS and a little doc explaining how it works. It might be useful for someone looking to set it up for themselves, but it will definitely help me remember.

Thanks to @mordancy for setting up Forgejo (Git, wiki, etc.).


Another thing I’m particularly interested in is food distribution networks and logistics.

My thoughts on the topic are really just starting to evolve. But I think the question of how to better distribute food regionally is interesting. I think distribution goes hand-in-hand with encouraging and supporting small and medium farms, along with land access.

So how do we use technology to make local food more accessible to individuals and the entities that sell to them or feed them. And not even accessible- just /there/, present in their life. In grocery stores, cafeterias, restaurants etc.


@Madrandom is currently running mushroom, hemp and finished product markets in the Charlotte area. Our goal is to plug with him and to show working models of his distribution and how open tech can aid in what he’s already doing.

I plan on heading back down there to design some irrigation and production value data, and at the very least get more visibility on his production levels.

The continuation of this is how to a) get the scale dialed in and b) target his specific ethos-in-production towards those who would like to distribute his (fermented and locally sourced) products to a wider audience.

Edit: I know this seems vague… but I am trying to describe how open tech communities are simply working on practicals first on marketing.

The technical solutions are going to be implemented gradually and iteratively. The idea now is simply to get the possibility in the minds of as many people as possible.

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You rule Ken. Robert, thank you also for your alt-hosting knowledge and abilities.

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Thank you For the introduction @TheArcMage. I have been in contact with multiple farms since we met at the southeast Linux conference that are all willing to provide data for these platforms. I am currently heavily involved with a local food community in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas in the farm and finished goods side. We are working together to bring local foods and finished goods using those local products to the local community. I see many overlaps in bringing this community together with the open source community that you, @qrkourier and multiple others have presented.
I have engaged 5-6 local farms since we met that are all interested and will be onboarding them and as much data as possible to this platform. The possibilities are exciting and I will definitely need help and guidance from those in the community to properly translate the information to this platform.

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