1. How will my data be used?


That’s up to you! Farming Concrete does not use the data stored in Barn: we simply provide a place to store and access data. You can download your data as a spreadsheet for your own analysis, or download ready-made summaries with charts and graphs for sharing with your members, community, funders, or elected officials.


Through the Mill, anyone can access the data – however your farm or garden’s name and exact address are not associated with that data unless you explicitly tell us you’d like to offer your data publicly (click the checkbox on your garden’s profiles page within Barn). Free and open access to data helps researchers, policy makers, and other farmers and gardeners understand the impacts of the work we do as farmers and gardeners, so we encourage you to put yourself on the map!


  1. I don’t want to input any data, but I would still like to view the data that has been entered on the Farming Concrete Is there a way to do this?


Yes, by going to farmingconcrete.org/mill you can choose which methods you would like to view, and from where in the world. You do not have to have a garden in Barn or a login to use Mill.


  1. What should I do once I’ve created an account in Barn?


You can do a number of things! It’s probably best to start with adding your garden, so you can start adding the data you’ve been collecting as soon as possible. You can also create a group. For example, if you are part of a coalition of farms or gardens, it might be helpful to create a group for your network.


  1. My farm/garden is part of a network/community/coalition of gardens in my town. Can we store our data together? And can I have access to all of the data entered by gardens in my network?


Yes. Barn offers a “group” function that allows communities of gardens to aggregate and share their data. The first person to make the group in Barn becomes the admin, and can invite other gardens (that have already been added to Barn) to join the group, as well as set other admins. In the group’s overview page, admins can download all of the raw data entered by all of the group’s gardens in one spreadsheet.


  1. Can my garden join more than one group?


Yes. You can request to join as many groups as you like. Each group’s administrator will have to approve your request.


  1. What does a group administrator do?


A group administrator can make other group members administrators, accept gardens’ requests to join the group, and see all data entered by gardens in that group.


  1. Should my garden share one login on Barn? Or do we each get a login?


We recommend allowing each individual member make their own login. Once your garden has been added to Barn, you can invite people to join your garden, or members can search for and add themselves to the garden on their Barn landing page by clicking the “Add a Garden” button. Allowing each member to have their own login lets users identify as members of multiple gardens. It also allows gardens to keep track of who entered which data.


  1. How can I view and download my data?


You can do this multiple ways. If you want to further analyze your data and need it in its raw form you can download it as a spreadsheet. You can do this from each data entry page, from a group landing page, and from the Data Reports tab in Barn. Also on both the data entry pages and the Data Reports tab is an option to get your data as a PDF report of data visualizations.


  1. What if my farm or garden doesn’t fit into one of the “types”?


There is no one definition of an urban farm or community garden. Choose the one that fits you best, or don’t choose a type at all.


  1. I’m not sure what to write on my worksheet. Is there an example I can observe to better understand what I should be recording?


Yes! There are instructional videos for every method that take you through real-world examples of the use of the Toolkit, as well as how to enter your data in Barn. These videos can be found in Barn under the Data Collection Toolkit link in the toolbar, and on the Farming Concrete home page under the Toolkit link. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact gardens@farmingconcrete.org.


  1. My farm/garden is new to the Farming Concrete Data Collection Toolkit, and we want refine our practices before sharing our data publicly. Can we keep our data private for now?


Yes, there are privacy settings for every garden. When adding a garden, make sure both boxes are unchecked where it says “Privacy Settings” at the bottom – this will ensure that when your data appears in the publicly accessible Mill, your name and location will be removed. When you’re ready to have your garden’s name and location available in Mill, you can change these settings when you go to edit your garden.


  1. My farm found an even better way to collect data for one of these methods. Can we still enter our data into Barn if we have altered the process?


Yes. The Farming Concrete Data Collection Toolkit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. In short, this means you are free to adapt it any way you like, just as long as you give appropriate credit if changes in content in made. If you are slightly altering the process to maximize the benefits of using the Toolkit, that’s great! It is intended to be adapted to any farm or garden in the country. We’d love to hear from you about how you’re using it on your site.


  1. Have you thought about making a smartphone app?


Making a smartphone app would require some huge changes to how Barn works under the hood. Instead, we’ve developed the mobile site to work just as well as an app would. To get a Barn icon on your phone’s screen, simply go to farmingconcrete.org/barn, and then tap the menu or share icon, and select “Add to Home Screen.” Voila!


Please let us know using the Feedback tab on Barn if there are ways we could improve the mobile site, we want this to be just as good as an app would be.


  1. Who can I talk to if I have an idea of something to add to the Toolkit?


There is a lot more data that farmers and gardeners can record. If you have an idea that you think many farms and gardens would also take interest in, or if you’re part of a larger network that needs more functionality, contact us and let us know. Because Farming Concrete is not-for-profit and we don’t charge for use of our products, we do charge a fee for the development of additional methods.


  1. I’m not a farmer or gardener, but I work somewhere that offers technical assistance to local urban farms and community gardens. We would love to have data on the sites we work with. How can we get participants to collect data using this Toolkit?


We have many ideas for how to implement this Toolkit on a network-wide scale. We would be happy to provide consulting services and/or a Training of Trainers workshop to help you implement the Toolkit in multiple gardens/farms. Here’s the short answer:


We support efforts that recognize a garden’s autonomy. Gardeners/farmers will collect data only with the methods that are useful to them (and that’s okay). You can offer workshops that introduce gardeners to the Toolkit and guide them through the goal-setting activities in the first chapter, which ultimately guide gardeners towards picking the method(s) they want to prioritize. You can then check in with gardeners throughout the season to see how their data collection efforts are going. We have yet to work with a garden or farm that has taken on all 20 methods: most start with one, maybe two, and add from there. If you are in a position to select a metric that will be required of all gardens in your network, start with a relatively simple one that the garden may be keeping records of already, like food production or landfill diversion.


  1. I want other gardens to be able to contact us if they want to collaborate, or ask questions. Is there a way for us to make our contact information available on the site?


Yes. In Barn, click on the Your Account link. Make sure the box is checked underneath where you type in your email address. This will make your email publicly available. We also encourage you to join our Google Group, which allows Farming Concrete users to communicate with one another in an open forum.