This locavores thing is really catching on but at the same time, most farmers don't have the luxury of time to spend hours at a Farmers market, peddling their products. What's needed are smarter ways to connect the suppliers/producers with their customers. Casey Hoy's ant colony study keeps coming to my mind and with all these new technologies/softwares for communicating with each other, there must be a way. My wife and I have become connected to Tina Wagner and Brad Masi's City Fresh program this year. We've been experimenting - one week a single share, another week a family share, sometimes, we just collect few items from our volunteer share. Conclusion - family share is way too much food and even a single share, we have to really plan hard to consume a week's worth. I compared notes with my daughter and her family - they have three small children - and she concurs - lots of planning or the food goes bad. This surfaces two key points - a need to facilitate the planning and a need to communicate the availability of food so the consumers come to collect them in lieu of a "per chance" buying patterns that most retailers rely on. We already know from past experience and growing patterns, what vegetables become available during the season. We should be able to develop recommended buying patterns, based on availability of products and educate the consumers to plan on what to buy and eat for the coming week, coming months.. This may be way too structured for most folks but I think we have to begin thinking about how to capitalize on things that are readily available to improve our life styles as well as our health and well being. Geologically, we know that Ohio is blessed with one of the richest soils for agriculture. We need to couple that to the available technologies and softwares - like twitter, facebook, etc. to communicate, network and create new ways to bring the demand (consumers) much closer and in synch to the suppliers (the farmers). We've already started the paradym shift to begin eating locally produced foods. Now the challenge is how to make it efficient enough to support the suppliers (farmers) so that they can shift away from producing for the mega buyers and cater more to the small markets and local consumers.
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