Various articles and videos about our work and what we’re trying to accomplish!

SF Chronicle

Eric Maundu never wanted to be a farmer. Raised in an agricultural community in Kenya, he learned early on to equate that way of life with unrewarding, sunbaked drudgery. Given the opportunity to go to college, he opted for a career that would take him as far away from plows, chickens and fertilizer as possible – electronics and computer science.

Now, 14 years after moving to the Bay Area, the soft-spoken programmer is once again reaping and sowing crops – though this time with technological help.

 Full Article: Aquaponics sprout a business: Kijani Grows

FarmXchange

“Aquaponics 101″ — taught by Eric Maundu of Kijani Grows in Oakland, CA — was an utterly enjoyable, informative, practical class on the subject. Highly recommend for anyone living or visiting the Bay Area with an interest in sustainability, health/fitness, the environment, or simply home-gardening.

Full article: Aquaponics 101 with Kijani Grows

Wilder Quarterly

“I am not a farmer,” the engineer Eric Maundu insists, adding that during his youth in Kenya “I grew up wanting nothing to do with farms.” Maundu is the founder of Kijani Grows, an Oakland-based company that builds “smart” aquaponics gardens, and is developing a suite of programs to benefits schools, communities and refugees. Kijani Grows’ gardens reinvent soilless gardening techniques from the unique perspective of an engineer who believes that “anything that has no IP address has no future.” His knowledge about farming, paired with his resistance to do it the traditional way, has allowed Maundu to rethink what a garden can be.

Full article: Kijani Grows Lays Claim to Oakland

Food First

When I sat down to speak with Eric Maundu, founder of Kijani Grows, an Oakland-based company that integrates computers into aquaponics systems (the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics), he asked me to name five things I could accomplish with a computer. I listed many of the tasks each of us uses a computer for daily. However, Eric reduced each of my examples to a single idea: computers solve communication problems. “Most people own a computer,” he said, “why not use it to talk to your garden?”

Full article: Kijani Grows: pairing computers with farming

Reddit.com

Video about our use of Smart Aquaponics in West Oakland.

Internet of Food: Arduino-based, urban aquaponics in Oakland

SmartPlanet.com

In Oakland, California, a man grows veggies with fish excrement instead of soil. Eric Maudu’s garden is wired with sensors that let him know just how thirsty his plants are, even when he’s not home…

Full article: Man uses fish poo, sensors to grow garden

Make: Taiwan

If you’ve ever walked around West Oakland, farming probably doesn’t come to mind. That’s because it’s the fifth busiest shipping port in the United States. But that hasn’t stopped maker Eric Maundu from feeding himself with locally-grown food from his aquaponic gardens, a combination of fish farming and hydroponic planting. Frequently proclaiming, “I am not a farmer,” Eric has applied his robotics and software background to making gardens smart

Full article: “Hello Garden” – Making Aquaponics Smart 

Hack a Day

[Eric Maundu] is farming in Oakland. There are no open fields in this concrete jungle, and even if there were the soil in his part of town is contaminated and not a suitable place in which to grow food. But he’s not using farming methods of old. In fact farmers of a century ago wouldn’t recognize anything he’s doing. His technique uses fish, circulated water, and gravel to grow vegetables in whatever space he can find; a farming method called aquaponics…

Full article: Urban farming uses aquaponics to make farmland where there is none

Kijiji Grows Urban Aquaponic Systems

Video from the Kijiji Grows days detailing Eric’s start in aquaponics 

CUESA: Cultivating a Healthy Food System

Eric Maundu is, self-admittedly, an unlikely gardener. Growing up in Kenya, he became disillusioned with agriculture, seeing farmers struggle with lack of arable land, water, and resources. “The last thing I wanted to do was farm,” he says.

Everything changed when Maundu learned about hydroponics, which uses nutrient-rich water in place of soil and fertilizers. By that point, he had studied industrial robotics and had moved to the U.S. to work as an engineer…

Full article: Kijiji Grows: Aquaponics for Urban Sustainability