A detailed article on building an Automated Hydroponic System (archive) by Kyle Gabriel, a biological scientist and hobbyist engineer.
Open Source Seed
The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) is dedicated to maintaining fair and open access to plant genetic resources worldwide in order to ensure the availability of germplasm to farmers, gardeners, breeders, and communities of this and future generations.
They engages in education and outreach that promotes sharing rather than restricting access to plant germplasm, recognizes and supports the work of plant breeders of all kinds, and supports a diversified and decentralized seed industry. The core strategy for achieving these goals is the dissemination and propagation of the OSSI Pledge and of OSSI-Pledged varieties, both of which preserve the rights of farmers, gardeners, and breeders to freely use, save, replant, and improve seed of OSSI-Pledged material.
FarmBot (Wikipedia) is an open source precision agriculture CNC (Computer Numerical Control) farming project consisting of a Cartesian coordinate robot farming machine, software and documentation including a farming data repository. The project aims to “Create an open and accessible technology aiding everyone to grow food and to grow food for everyone.”
The FarmBot Genesis is able to plant over 30 different crops including potatoes, peas, squash, artichokes and chard in an area of 2.9 meters × 1.4 meters with a maximum plant height of 0.5 meters. It can cultivate a variety of crops within same area at the same time and is able to operate indoors, outdoors and covered areas.
The Farmbot Genesis can perform almost all processes prior to harvesting including sowing, mechanical weed control and watering. It requires electricity, an internet connection and water supply which can be provided using off grid solutions including a water barrel to collect rain and a solar panel and battery to provide electricity. The FarmBot Genesis is able to gather data to take into account factors such as age of the plant and local weather conditions from both local sensors and external data from the internet.