Public Lab Wiki documentation



gardening toolkit

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Simple, appropriate technologies for great garden outcomes

Meeting your environmental goals is easier when you track your progress and use what you learn to improve your practices--and results--over time. The basic cycle of "adaptive co-management" (pardon the jargon) is goal setting, action, monitoring, reflection, and adaptation. This toolkit comes in two parts:

  • Guides for organizing
  • Guides for tool making and research methods

Guides for Organizing

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Start Here

Collaboratively create a picture of your place.

Link to Start Here guide


Set Goals

Define your goals and choose which ones you want to measure progress towards.

Link to Setting Goals guide


Choose how to track your progress

Choose how you want to measure, then design fun, "field-proof" measuring activities.

Link to Choosing How To Track Your Progress Guide


Schedule the season

Schedule out daily and occasional events across the whole season.

event guide


Reflect and Look Forward

Come together to review and reflect on a season's worth of observations. Take stock of last year's outcomes and make adjustments as needed for the upcoming year.

event guide



Guides for tool making and research methods

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1. Pole mapping guide

Change your perspective! See your garden from above. Map your garden layout and track changes through the years.

Link to Pole Mapping Guide


2. Infrared imagery experiment guide

See plants photosynthesizing. Experiment with cultivation methods and see which types of plants thrive. Can be combined with pole mapping

Link to Infrared imagery experiment guide


3. Manual Tracking Guide

Growing tons of food? Diverting compost from the waste stream? Coordinating work among lots of volunteers? If you're tackling these or other programs in your garden, this toolkit hosted at barn.farmingconcrete.org has simple methods that you can use.

Link to Manual Tracking intro page -- follow link to barn.farmingconcrete.org