Another quick business (or community service) idea inspired by the great James Wilson over coffee. This one is unlikely to make you crazy rich, but could be a fun project for the right people. And it is certainly a great way to reduce waste, and minimize the embodied energy in fresh foods…
We all know that the marketing term ‘farm fresh’ does not always mean fruit or vegetables are as fresh as we may like. Also much of the produce we buy must be transported great distances, which is neither good for the produce or the environment.
While talking we realized there are a lot of amateur gardeners in the local area with a surplus of various crops. Many others had fruit trees with fruit just rotting on the ground, as they simply could not eat it all. What a waste!
An idea was born…
Why not have a system whereby excess produce could be traded for credits. The budding socialpreneur could go around collecting the produce, and offer a fixed amount credit for each kilo supplied.
The collected produce could then be sold to the local community as ‘Garden Fresh’, or if a charitable endeavour, donated to local schools, hospitals, or to the elderly.
The gardeners who traded their vegetables could exchange their credits for the fruit or vegetables of other gardens through a central distribution point (perhaps a local market).
To further this idea, it could be possible to develop an app or website for local gardeners to know what each other were planting, so as to create a more even supply.
By providing a service such as this communities would be better able to provide for themselves, and encourage more people to make better use of available garden space.
Additional credits could be given for growers who used organic or spray free methods of growing. This would help encourage more people to use sustainable gardening practices.
Education on the project website, or through local workshops, could be given to help teach the gardeners how to grow organically, or to their maximise their yields.
For a more ambitious socialpreneur there could be an opportunity here for creating a much larger AirBnB type website. This could provide all the training and information for both gardeners and local co-ordinators. The site would need to be localized, but the basic information sharing and crop planning elements would be applicable to all communities. Customized tips could be provided for each specific region and season.
Most gardeners love to garden, and hate to see their efforts go to waste. Many fruit tree owners are more than happy for someone to take the excess fruit before it rots on their lawn. Be creating a service that uses a coupon exchange, it also helps people to reduce costs and become that one step closer to self sufficiency.
If you give it a go we would love to hear from you. Please share any tips or suggestions to improve the concept, or overcome challenges you may have faced.
I only wish I had someone offering ‘Garden Fresh’ near me!