by Heather Hilleren
Eating fresh equates to eating healthy. To find fresh food, the solution is to find what is grown locally, which isn’t always an easy task. First, the health-conscious buyer has to find products that are produced in their area at a given time of year, and then they have to find where those products are being sold. If the buyer is able to find what is in season in his or her area and where to buy it, where can the consumer compare the farms producing the item, prices for the item and the locations where the item is being sold? With such obstacles facing the local food seeker the card is stacked against them, not only the local food consumer, but also the small farmer trying to sell their products to the consumer. Enter in “Local Dirt” and “Locavore”.
Local Dirt tackles these problems head on by filling in the gap between supply and demand. Local Dirt is an online site where anyone can buy or sell agricultural products. Potential individual customers can search for their favorite farm, farmers’ market, CO-OP, buying club or for just any local products. Local Dirt also caters business-to-business interactions, giving the wholesale businesses such as grocers, hospitals, restaurants, and schools the ability to efficiently buy from local farms of any size. By centralizing local food, Local Dirt has been able to offer features that no other local food-based site can offer, such as real time price sheets, showing the farms most current inventory and prices, online ordering, with both online and offline payment options, and automated purchase orders, which become invoices on day of delivery, just to name a few.
Locavore, similar to Local Dirt, also centralizes local food, but via your mobile internet device. Locavore is a mobile app that was created to fill the growing consumer demand for product information. How does Locavore do this? It uses GPS coordinates to map out nearby farms, farmers markets, and CSAs. It gives an “in season” listing, enables social networking, and provides recipe information for in season products. Local Dirt and Locavore provide local food consumers with access to options that didn’t exist before and provide an online selling option for farms, farmers markets, co-ops and CSAs. With the creation of Local Dirt and Locavore, the average consumer is given the ability to find and purchase local, fresh and healthy products. For more information on Local Dirt please visit localdirt.com; for information on Locavore please visit getlocavore.com.