July 13, 2015

Simple Caprese Salad + the EDYN garden monitor and how it changed my life

Brent and I were sitting around at the beginning of the summer, him sipping a cold beer and me drinking a glass of lemonade.  We were having a conversation about our gardens discussing what trees to plant, curious as to what our current soil nutrient levels were, and whether we should install an underground watering system. He suggested that I send our soil off to the City of Seattle to get tested for nutrient levels and pH. I thought that was a fantastic idea, but in actual fact, I never sent the soil away. He also suggested that we install an underground watering system, but all I could imagine was my gardens destroyed in the process. I tried to convince him that we needed to dig out the old cherry tree in our backyard and plant some smaller Japanese maples. He had grown fond of the cherry tree so he disagreed. We were getting nowhere with this conversion, but yet we both agreed it would be awesome to have some sort of gardening system that would tell us nutrient, water, light, and moisture levels. I suggested that him, being a software engineer, should develop such a thing. And then we both forgot about it like we do. A few months later, I discovered a kick-starter campaign for just the thing I was talking about. I got excited!

When we moved into our house a little over a year ago I tore up all the gardens. I've mentioned this before because it took almost the whole summer to replant, and I needed some solid venting time. During the process, I tried to amend the soil with bags and bags of compost to the best of my ability, but I still just felt as though the nutrient levels were poor in some spots, because certain plants just weren't growing that well. Despite my concerns, it is pretty obvious that our backyard gardens do well. They get full sun, the ground is flat, and the soil that I amended when we first moved in stays nice and moist after watering. My front gardens, however, get full sun all day, but they are sloped, so the water drains away easily. No matter what I do, the soil remains thin, dusty, and dry. At the beginning of the summer, I added a thick layer of compost to the top to try and help keep in the moisture, which has helped a bit. Never have I lived in a place with such variance amongst different gardens. This is what lead me to be so excited about the EDYN garden sensor.

To be honest, I don't often talk about products on this site. But when I discovered the EDYN garden system, I got so excited I just had to share it with you guys. This sensor has made my life so much easier. My garden is flourishing and I now feel in control of what's going on out there. The EDYN smart garden system uses a sensor that you place into your garden, into the soil. The sensor's linked to an IOS app that you download (for free). You can run the app on your phone or desktop, but I prefer to use it on my phone so I can check the status of my garden throughout the day.  After the app downloads, it will ask you some information about the plants in that particular area. Once you are all setup, the sensor monitors; light, humidity, nutrition, and moisture. You can place more than one sensor in your garden and the app can control them all! The garden sensor is solar powered, so you just place it in your garden and let it go. It can sense levels up to 250 square feet away. It should be placed up to 300 feet from a router, where it can receive and send data through Wifi.

I placed my first sensor in my tomato beds. Since then, the sensor has provided me with specific info about my tomatoes: the nutrient levels are good, the humidity is good, the tomatoes are getting enough sun, but the moisture levels are often low (this is funny, because I thought that the backyard gardens retained enough moisture). This has caused me to change things up in the garden. Now, instead of giving the tomatoes a heavy soak with the hose once a day, I put on the sprinkler for 15 minutes in the morning with a slow trickle. This has kept the moisture levels at 18% - which is ideal. Another great thing about EDYN is that it will provide ongoing advice and guidance based on your data. If your nutrient levels are low, it will tell you to add fertilizer etc. EDYN has a database of over 500 plants that covers all agricultural soil types, so you can basically use it for any garden type. EDYN is also going to be offering a water valve that can hook up to any watering system. The sensor controls the watering system, which, in the long run, reduces the amount of water you use. Since I started using EDYN my tomatoes have done amazingly well. It has made gardening so much easier.

As a little tribute to the EDYN garden sensor, I am sharing my favorite summatime salad, which is basically my favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes. A simple Caprese salad. The key to making a good Caprese is good quality ingredients. Fresh sweet tomatoes, fresh basil, a soft fresh mozzarella, good olive oil, and Maldon salt. That's all ya need.

If you'd like to learn more about EDYN, check out their website, or take a peek at this video. The EDYN garden sensors are available to purchase on the EDYN site or in select EDYN stores. The garden water valve has not released yet, but when it does, I am buying three!







recipe 
CAPRESE SALAD
serves 4

2 large tomatoes, sliced
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
15 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
Maldon salt
On a serving plate, layer the tomato slices and fresh mozzarella.

Scatter the basil leaves on top.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt. Serve cold.


Thanks to folks over at EDYN for sponsoring this post and supplying me with a garden sensor.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! That EDYN system looks amazing. I just sat here and read your whole post to my husband. We also live in the Pacific Northwest. This would take so much of the guesswork out of gardening! Thanks for sharing! And that salad looks delish too!

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  2. The garden monitor is so cool!! One day when I have my own actual outdoor garden, I will definitely have to get this app :)

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  3. I need this app in my life! I've been meaning to send our soil off to be tested for years and it never gets done. We still manage to grow quite a bit, which is why I think I never bother with a soil test. But I love the idea of this app.

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  4. Amazing!!!! I always wondered about soil nutrition levels when I had an edible balcony and some plants were not growing. I will look into Edyn and see if they deliver outside US (i am in Chile!).

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  5. I have recently discovered your blog and am really happy that I did. It's lovely in every way. But stumbling onto this particular post is incredibly serendipitous. I'm a blogger in LA and am moving to Seattle at the end of the month month. My fiance and I were just this morning gushing over the idea of having a garden, listing the vegetables we wanted to grow. So your post made both of us very happy!

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