8-14-2014 8-19-58 PM

Buying And Selling Produce In Your Neighborhood

This must be tech month, because I have another wiz-bang techy thing to share with you.  This is another web-site, and it brings local to a whole new level.

Personally, I’m a big fan of selling directly to the consumer – no middle man.  The advantage of a middle-man is a built-in customer base.  Folks go to the farmer’s market, grocery store, or local restaurant and buy food that was produced locally (at least in theory).  The problem with the middle-man is that they take a cut of your profits, because the public has a limit on what they will spend on food, even organic, locally produced food.  A middle-man means you make less money than if you sell directly to the public.

8-14-2014 8-07-18 PMBack to the problem – how do you generate a customer base for random sales?  In the age of the internet, just about anything can be accomplished.  Enter Ripe Near Me, a free website that allows to both post items you have for sale, as well as browse items that are for sale.  And you can search by zip code, showing only those offerings that are nearby.  Notice image above – downtown Colorado Springs. 

8-14-2014 8-06-20 PM_FindThis is site is super simple – it has only two functions.  Function 1 allows you to search for items for sale by zip code.  Function 2 allows you to post items that you have for sale.  You list your items, list their location, and set your price.  If someone is interested in your item(s) they send you a message through the system.  That’s it folks – buy local food, or sell local food.  Simple.

8-14-2014 8-06-20 PM_SellSo here’s what I’m proposing.  How ’bout we get 20 or so of us on this site, offering things for sale from our gardens, poultry, livestock, orchards, and vineyards.  We just have a few folks using the site in our area right now; it wouldn’t take much to turn the tide and really get something great going.  Harvest season is coming into full swing.  Instead of fretting about how you’re going to use all of those tomatoes, or struggling with what do with another 8 lbs. of zucchini, post your delicious and hard won produce on this site and find it a good home.

I’ve created my profile and listed my first two items for sale – sage and thyme from our aquaponics system.  Check it out, decide if you like the site, and if you do, get posting.  Let’s build our local food economy from the ground up (pun definitely intended).

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2 Responses to Sustainability Experts Sound Off

  1. Tascha October 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Christine – what a great question and diverse answers. I’d like to think that the shift in demand is an indicator, but as you know, most of the demand is still through our traditional food sources (big chain grocery with an organics line, fast food with healthier choices). Jury is still out on whether they are truly sourcing from sustainable ag. And as I look around Colorado Springs, yes we have great farmers markets and CSAs, but many of the farmers markets are selling right off the same trucks that come from Mexico to supply grocery stores.

    What I do see is that people are questioning more and more information is getting out there. I also think that as the economy starts to pick up again that more folks will allow their money to follow their values (spending a bit more in order to get sustainably grown food).

    • Christine October 31, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Ya’ know, I tend to agree with you, Malik and a few others that the most significant indication of a “shift” is the fact that people are talking about this. Folks are having real conversations about food, agriculture, sustainability, GMOS’s, organic, and humanely raised. This is new and radical, and in my mind it is moving our culture closer to a sustainable food system.

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