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Using Alpha 3 To Manage Plant Information  RSS feed

 
Josh Kunkel
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Location: Central Texas
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I'm using a simple 3 letter code system to manage plant information on our farm. I needed to devise a way to keep track of what plants we have, when and where we acquired them, all of my notes on them from the field, yield information, etc. While I am tasked with being consistent using the code from tagging the plants to noting it on the scanned receipt file, in my journal, field notes, etc. I feel it will be well worth the effort. I've worked in a business that had thousands of types of garden perennials and respect the need to keep good documentation. The Alpha 3 system I've worked out will hopefully create efficiencies. 

I've blogged about it in more detail here: Alpha 3 Plant Tag Blog at 1880 Farm

The best part is that I've just started working with this, literally 1 plant entered so far. Please share if you have any insight or suggestions to make it a better system.

-Josh
 
André Troylilas
Posts: 149
Location: North of France
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Good idea! Alpha-3 won't be enough for my future needs, but for the time being, it could help me spend less time writing latin and vernacular on each tag...
 
Josh Kunkel
Posts: 40
Location: Central Texas
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André,
Have you considered adding another letter? (Create a 4 Letter system, AAAA, AAAB, AAAC, etc.). While adding just one letter my math shows it would go from 15,600 unique tags to over 350,000 just by adding the 4th letter. If I ever use all of my 15,600 in my system by tracking more than 15,600 plants I will add the 4th letter and keep going at that time. I feel that on my scale this will take years unless I start a hybridization project where I track lineage. Is this why you would need more codes, are you hybridizing?

[Drumroll] Drumroll here [/Drumroll].... (Paul Wheaton does permies.com support in forum drumroll?)

This system allows for 1 cent plant tags! The copper washer idea I started with cost 10 cents each, by stamping pennies the cost comes to 1 cent per tag, I just need to drill a hole in the penny to hang it.


These 3 tags are assigned to Bocking 14 Comfrey at our farm, to be planted in 3 different beds




These tags are yet to be assigned, they will go to the next 4 plants or trees we get this winter (I need to drill hole in pennies to hang them)




These are the 'Tools of the Trade' that I use to punch the code



I'm so damn excited to farm full time!

-Josh
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I stopped keeping records on my farm after I realized that I was spending more time keeping records than growing food. What that means in practice, is that I can grow twice as much food for the same labor. Sure, I miss having records sometimes, and I write a few temporary labels.
 
André Troylilas
Posts: 149
Location: North of France
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Thanks Josh. Yes, I think I may switch to Alpha-4.
I know I have to relax and not keep track of everything, but it's still difficult for me...
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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