Saturday, May 24, 2008

Social Networking With FarmFoody

Thanks to Jonah for the tipoff on FarmFoody, a social networking site devoted to connecting farmers with 'foodies,' people who love food and care about the quality of what they eat. The site aims to help farmers by providing them with an easy way to communicate with customers, without spending money on a web designer or other forms of advertising. Foodies can develop relationships with growers and other foodies, exchange recipes and create local groups for appreciating and obtaining produce.

According to this article, FarmFoody was created by Tom Davenport, a 68-year-old farmer and filmmaker who lives in Fauquier County, Virginia. Davenport, who also created, a repository for American folk documentaries, says 'The Internet allowed audiences to connect with niche films, so I thought, "Why couldn't they connect with niche farms?"'

FarmFoody is a great resource for anyone looking to become more involved in their local agricultural community. Davenport says, 'Agriculture is related to land, so we had to create a mapping system that allows people to find and link up to farms near them.' The point is to use the internet as a means to developing real relationships with farmers and other food fanatics in your area. I believe this is the Internet at its best: a tool for strengthening real-life relationships and creating friendly, well-informed communities.

I was not surprised when Davenport mentioned, 'The ultimate local thing would be gardening, because you don't have to go very far. People should be plowing up their lawns. Around World War II, everyone had a garden and dried their clothes in the back yard. It's interesting that the phenomenon of local victory gardens and seeds is taking off like crazy now. Part of it is the price of food and gasoline. Even if you live in a suburban area and you only have one-quarter acre, that's a lot of ground. If everyone in a neighborhood tears up their yard, people can exchange foods. FarmFoody would be ideal for this. You can have a community, just like in the old days, and people get to know each other through a market system: "I've got zucchini; you've got raspberries. Let's trade."'

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