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We share our experience in planning, designing and deploying a wireless sensor network of one square kilometre area. Environmental data such as soil moisture, temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity are collected in this area situated in the semi-arid region of Karnataka, India. It is a hope that information derived from this data will benefit the marginal farmer towards improving his farming practices. Soon after establishing the need for such a project, we begin by showing the big picture of such a data gathering network, the software architecture we have used, the range measurements needed for determining the sensor density, and the packaging issues that seem to play a crucial role in field deployments. Our field deployment experiences include designing with intermittent grid power, enhancing software tools to aid quicker and effective deployment, and flash memory corruption. The first results on data gathering look encouraging