Interns and Mentorship on an Urban Farm

This is August my latest entry for Interns and Mentorship on an Urban Farm. They really love farming but freely admit to have living little experience. That’s OK, this is a place to be safe and discover what you do know.

I was delighted that August showed up. They are working with PAST Foundation, Impact Community Development and Metro Early College High School in the #Workforce Development Pathway at PAST Innovation Lab this summer. It is clear that August will not be a farmer – but they are going to be a killer technologist!

More Than Farming and Labor

After we got started on the chores I needed help with I discovered that they are not built for labor. They do have a keen mind and a driving sense of purpose. So we took a break and discussed what they were interested in. It turns out we have a lot in common and we need different things from one another.

August is working towards credentials in CAD and Additive Manufacturing at PAST Innovation Lab. It just so happens that I have two 3D printers that were gifted to me but I do not have time to learn to run. August will be designing and building on-demand tools for me throughout the summer.

The Beating Heart of Sustainability

I think this is an amazing tradeoff. I can’t get these things done, August wants to learn more about urban farming and how to leverage technology on an urban farm. Why would we not combine our passions and strengths?

This is what sustainability looks like. One system that needs and provides for another with minimal friction and hassle. August showed up at just the right time and for the right reason.

Restarting the Biodome and Optimizing the Bioreactor

The breaker in both the biodome and bioreactor projects is water acquisition and management issues that that I cannot use off the shelf parts effectively to create. It would be far better if I had customizable and replaceable parts to do the critical jobs I need done. It was August’s idea to ask me about these and remind me they were seeking credentials for solving problems just like this.

Once we sat down at Wendy’s (They needed chicken nuggets) and I started sketching these things out, August told me that they new exactly how to model this in Fusion 360 and that we could print them in a standard 3D printer. I was delighted! They will not only design the part for me, but print it test it and provide the code to share on this website.

Finding Purpose

This is what Mezzacello was always designed to be: A catalyst for change and innovation. August and I will work through the designs and best of all, it will count for credits in their accreditation for coursework. It will be open source and replicable – a true win-win.

We have four weeks to get these systems designed, built, tested, and modified. The future starts today and it starts with a single opportunity to see each other for the value one brings, not what one hopes for. I dedicate this blog to PAST Foundation and to the incomparable Nikki Stancampiano who runs the Workforce program at PAST. Bravo!

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