I’ve mentioned before that typically when one is first compiling information for site analysis, there is a sizable amount that does not come from the site. Data is typically aggregated for climate, landform, soils, plant systems and more. This is to say that there is always room for more specific data to be collected.
Last year I was surfing the web to look for ways of grabbing site specific data for climate. This journey eventually led me to a DIY weather station that could be run on Raspberry Pi. Luckily, there are robust sources available, and even the makers of raspberry pi are working on making some for sale. But, where’s the fun in that?
The instructable website offers a great blueprint for this project. For less than $300, one could build their own weather station with photo taking capability. It can measure precipitation, humidity, pressure, temperature, wind direction, and wind speed as well as provide time lapse worthy photos in order to make sense of all of that data in visual context.
Furthermore, this particular instructable includes its own software that runs on Python (so you can learn a little bit of that too!) and uses the Weather Underground API in order to obtain other data relative to the site that you would be hard pressed to measure on site scale.
There are a couple of adaptations I would like to make of course. Making the measuring components themselves I think will be the most simple part, a more challenging aspect will be to case them and to find more functions for the space that weather station takes up. Ultimately, I am thinking about building around 6 or 7 of these to put all around the 65 acre farm. While I could settle on having 7 weather stations, I can’t help but be pulled into a deeper process.
The question becomes, if I have a structure capable of capturing weather data and photos, what else should it be capable of doing? They are spread around, accessible, and stationary. What else could be built into these structures to truly maximize need on the farm?
I suspect answers will come as the process moves along. I have connected with the Western Mass Geek Group which has regular meetings on Tuesdays and has encyclopedic members. No doubt with the tools and help available I can make a more functional weather station, and aesthetic too!