9 February 2014

RipeNearMe - finding where the fresh food is

I want to share a link to an interesting program that networks local growers and local food eaters together based on proximity. It's called RipeNearMe and it's free to join. You can find out what is ripe and ready to eat near you and also, if you have excess produce in your own yard, you can register to swap your homegrown food for other local produce. Seems like a great way to eat local/sustainable, share/receive surplus AND build community all at the same time. 

The concept is simple: you’re able to list any food that you grow yourself, or post produce growing in a public space. As a ‘grower’ you can add as much as you grow (there’s no limit, and it’s free) and determine whether you want to swap, sell or giveaway your spoils. Others do the same and everyone’s food gets pinned on the global map for some very interesting online foraging!

By default, when you list your food on RipeNearMe it has the status of "growing". That means you can add your mango tree (or whatever) when they’re not in season, leaving it set as "growing". If you live close to that mango and you know you want some when they ripen, you subscribe to it. When they are ripe and ready to harvest, you'll receive an email reminding you to get in touch with the grower. Or you can add your tomatoes as "growing" when you know you've got a good crop and change it to "ripe" when they're ready to pick. By then, hopefully, you'd have people close by subscribing to your tomatoes who would receive an email when they're ripe reminding them to contact you to buy (or barter). You can do the same thing when you're growing lemons, apples, macadamias, asparagus, peaches or lettuce. Honey, bees wax and eggs of all types may also be added.

Looking at it from the buyers' perspective, imagine having 50+ subscriptions within a few miles/kilometres of your home. What if you had an email every other week letting you know there’s some food (silverbeet, eggs, tomatoes, oranges, potatoes, honey, durians, etc) for you to collect from a neighbour?

This program is just starting off now and it needs help to get up and running. It needs people like you and me to support it by listing what we're growing. Without that, it won't work. So please think about supporting it. We are all self-reliant people and this is a hands-on program that will help us bypass the supermarkets and get the freshness that we all crave. Cutting out the transport of huge amounts of food will help us all and this can be the start of that. There is no doubt about it, this is not just about food, this is about building community and taking food out of the hands of big business.

Please note I have no commercial interest in this program.


  1. I love this idea, I'm going to check it out right now, thanks for the great tip!

  2. Wow, this is a GREAT idea. Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be sure to spread the word.

  3. What a great idea! I love the global map concept for online foraging. In my area we have a barter or swap group on face book where we can do exactly that swap or barter our fruit and vegetables and I just recently bartered my fresh produce for lemons and mangoes from a lady in Grafton that will be going through my area, how fantastic is that. I am so hook on bartering I am spreading the word, this week also I passed on my produced to a lady who has been making soap for the last tens years and we have arrange a day of making soap together, I love it.

  4. So great! Definitely going to jump on that - thanks for the info!

  5. Thanks for the tip. I'm on it.

  6. This is a wonderful resource. I am going to see if there is anything like it where I live in the US. One of my goals this year is to find people to barter homegrown food with. I'm seeing more and more people in my neighborhood starting vegetable gardens. I am itching to get growing but we're still buried under snow :(

  7. What are great website, so easy to use and see what is growing in our area. Thank you Rhonda for sharing I will be using this website regularly.

  8. This is a brilliant idea! There are no listings in my area, but I will do my best to get my friends on board. I'd love to see this idea thrive.


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