Earlier this year Kestle Barton embarked on a collaboration with Complex Earth – an innovative IT company developing software tools to support community agriculture and large-scale permaculture projects. Complex Earth is undertaking a feasibility study looking at how we could implement a digital system which will allow visitors to get involved in the management of a new forest garden project at Kestle Barton. The proposed system will help us design a large forest garden. Volunteers and visitors will then be given access to a smart phone app that gives automatic instructions to a user community so they can bring the design into reality over the following years. The app will assign maintenance tasks to the user community and manage the harvesting of crops. The app will mean any visitor to Kestle Barton can get involved and learn all about forest gardening even if they have little or no previous experience. Complex Earth is passionate about using AI and other current digital technologies as a force for good. They hope to use these technologies to reconnect people with natural processes and educate them about new forms of ecological food systems. Complex Earth believe that in this way permaculture and other beneficial ecological practices can be scaled up more quickly to meet the demands of the ecological crisis we face. We are very excited to be working with them.
The feasibility study has been part funded using a grant from the Agri-tech Cornwall Innovation Scheme, part of the ERDF’s European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The study is helping us develop new ways to encourage our visitors to engage with the land at Kestle Barton and get involved in hands-on food production, as well as supporting a new IT innovation which will boost the agricultural technology sector in Cornwall overall.