How open source is changing our food

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Lettuce farming field for Open Food Week

Photo by Jen Wike Huger

Open Food Week on

Starting on November 17, we will run stories from the open food community about how people are using open source software and methods to improve farming, food, and agriculture systems.

Our planet is currently inhabited by 7 billion people. We believe open source holds a key to building better hardware, methods, and systems to help us grow, harvest, and share food with each other—right where we live, and on a greater scale, with our global neighbors. Out of the sharing economy and the labors of love of open source communities have come innovative ideas that we need today and will need into the future for our food systems.

This coming week, share and read our Open Food Week stories with your friends. Sharing in the open is how we can help others discover the power of an open source world.

Open Food Week collection

Linux for lettuce by Lisa M. Hamilton

The legal and emotional journey the Open Source Seed Initiative took to "free the seed."

3 classic computer games are back (plus, a snack!) by Joshua Holm

Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, and Tex Murphy are playable using open source tools, and each is paried with a recipe from Mystery Manor.

How do you envision better food in your neighborhood? by Erin White

We need open source to help us feed 9 billion people and create happy communities in the process. Community Food Lab tells us how.

How to channel the spirit of farming into your open food code by Roy Guisinger

Open Food Source is open source software for running your own local food co-op. It is an end-to-end solution with support for online ordering, product management, delivery coordination, and even newsletters. Roy talks about the origins of the project, its plans for the future, and the spirit of open source in farming.

4,100 new jobs through wildly successful NC farm grant program by Joseph Schroeder

RAFI has been a long-time advocate for farmers’ access to open pollinated seeds. We’re currently developing the Growing Innovation Online Library to highlight some of the best examples of farmer-driven innovation in agriculture.

Mix it up with this Life is Beautiful cocktail recipe by Tarus Balog

We often say that open source is like a recipe. To celebrate Open Food Week, the CEO of OpenNMS shares with us a cocktail favorite from his travels.

Open Food Network connects you with local, sustainable food by Eric Bowen

Open Food Network is a food hub, a connector between small farmers and places to sell their local, sustainable food. Find them on GitHub.

4 tips from growing a community grocery store by Shaun McCance

Tips for volunteer retention in open communities, from a software project to a co-op grocery store.

Open food developers have an ancient message for you by Sumana Harihareswara

Growstuff is an open source project to build crop database about who plants what food, when and where they plant it, how they harvest it. Find them on GitHub

Dinner can be like open source too by Katie Osterdahl

Ever had a hot pot meal? Well, turns out it's a lot like the methods in which open source communities interact. Try it!

The new food revolution is open by Kirsten Larsen

See how these groups are joining forces: Open Food Network, Farm Hack, Open Source Beehives, Open Source Seed Initiative, and Growstuff.

Recommended reading

Inspirational and philosophical article from open source pioneer Michael Tiemann on open farming | Read

pumpkin spice latte recipe from a homeroaster | Read

TED Talk with Marcin Jakubowski on the open source blueprints for 50 farm machines | Watch TED Talk     

A site for collecting and searching for information and advice on growing plants for food | Read

The open source solution to the bee colony collapse problem | Read

Open Food Network wants to make it easy to access local sustainable food | Read on Shareable

Farming technology and machinery that is eco-friendly and reproducable for small-scale communities of all kinds | Read

Grassroots agricultural innovation is advancing by leaps and bounds | Read on Make

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Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.

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For ways to eat when there is no agriculture working because of natural disaster;

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