Thursday, March 05, 2009

Local Food Systems Update

I've been doing more research on the web since my other blog post, and I've found some new avenues that I hope to explore further.

First, I found two "off-the-shelf" systems for setting up a local food market website. One is which gives a pre-packaged site hosted on the website. The second is which has created an open source software package that can be customized and deployed on one's own server. I'd like to compare and contrast these two a bit more. I just discovered them yesterday. If there is interest, I can set up a version of the software on my own site and customize it for Cincinnati, so folks can see how it works.

Another site that I found very interesting but still haven't had time to go through in depth is which is a discussion site about the many aspects of local food systems. It looks like a good source of knowledge. It was created as a coordination point for a workshop held by OSU’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in February of 2008, but has since grown substantially. There are discussion forums on the site for such exciting topics as "Logistics, particularly transportation for increasing volume of local foods" and "Local Food Systems Computer Modeling, GIS, Data(mining)" as well as many others. I tried to join the site, but the signup process didn't work right for me, so I'm still waiting. Still, it looks like all the conversations can be viewed without joining the site.

Yet another site I found worth mentioning here is which is the Ohio version of the Market Maker website I mentioned in my other post. This one provides access to the analogous data sets for Ohio. Also, if you go to the "Buy & Sell" forum it shows the same entries as if you browse via the Indiana site. I guess that explains why the entries are from all around the country. I tried searching in the forum for listings in Cincinnati, but didn't find any.

Finally, I'll mention that I probably won't be going to the Food Congress next weekend, but it does sound really exciting. If anyone is going, I'd love to hear from you about how it goes.

So, everyday is bringing new and interesting ideas out on this topic! I'll keep digging around and keep you posted.