An innovative new website is helping to connect local micro-farmers and foodies connect with each other. RipeNearMe (www.ripenear.me) was launched in Australia as a way to help make cities more “edible,” allowing people to get fresh food from their local neighborhood—instead of from the supermarket.
The website was founded by Alistair Martin and Helena Martin, born into ideology after this experience:
“[T]hey noticed so many citrus trees scattered about the suburbs full of fruit that nobody was eating. And yet local stores were selling plenty of them – even some that were imported! It just didn’t make sense. So, an idea was born: Why not have a site that allows foodies to connect with growers? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get all our fresh food from the local neighborhood?”
One of RipeNearMe’s top goals is to increase food sustainability, especially in urban areas. Why not turn rooftops, vacant lots, and balconies into food-growing spaces? Providing people a platform to connect with other neighborhood farmers will also help reduce food waste (you can give away extra produce you have), promote a healthy lifestyle, and possibly help micro-farmers run a profitable business.
Most of the food we eat today doesn’t come from nearby—unless you’re shopping at a farmer’s market or local co-op. Even organic food, if imported or transported over long distances, comes with a price—food transportation emissions. Plus, local gardens are more likely to be serving up produce that’s free of industrial-strength pesticides.
What makes RipeNearMe so great is its simplicity—it hearkens back to a time when trading and doing business with your neighbor was commonplace. It shouldn’t be difficult to get local produce—and with RipeNearMe, it’s not. Check out the site, tell your friends, and help this movement grow. Remember, the site is still in beta, so your area of the map might need a little love—so spread the word!