This project was an effort to investigate how emerging technologies could potentially help rural communities. Our community partner for the project was Capay Valley Vision, an organization whose mission is to foster a vision for the future of the Capay Valley region and facilitate collaborative processes for common dialogue, planning and action to preserve the rural character, agricultural traditions and natural resources of the region. Through interviews with Thomas Nelson, a board member of Capay Valley Vision and owner of Full Belly Farms, we discovered their biggest concern is the dwindling population of native pollinators. They have been seeking ways to involve the community of locals, seasonal workers and farmers in an effort to increase hedgerow planting and gardens consisting of native wildflowers.
With this in mind, our team developed a bio-dynamic community calendar to be placed in the proposed Esparto Community Center in the old Esparto Train Station. The low-energy, solar powered e-ink board dynamically features the yearly planting and harvest cycles along with corresponding community events of Esparto. As winter goes into spring, summer into fall, the calendar display changes and digitally ‘grows’ along with the seasons giving visual cues to currently blooming native wildflowers that support native pollinators to ensure bountiful harvests for the community.