Friday, April 10, 2009

Reds Home Game Schedule in iCalendar

I recently subscribed to the Reds Home Game Schedule using Google Calendar. Today I noticed a cool feature: they update the games that have finished with the scores, so you can see at a glance how the Reds are doing. For example, the event for yesterday was called "NY Mets at Cincinnati" but now it has changed to "NY Mets 6 - Cincinnati 8". Use this url right here:

Put that url into Google Calendar to see what I mean. That's the url for home games, but if you want the complete schedule or the away schedule, you can get iCalendar feeds for those too at their page on

Update: I'm going to attempt to embed the calendar below:

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cincinnati Hackerspace - The Critical Mass Pattern

The Critical Mass Pattern

I'm wondering how many people are interested in this idea of a hackerspace in the Cincinnati area.

It looks to me like there is a kernel of people working to start a local chapter of dorkbot: dorkbot-cinci.

.___ __ ___. __ .__ .__
__| _/___________| | _\_ |__ _____/ |_ ____ |__| ____ ____ |__|
/ __ |/ _ \_ __ \ |/ /| __ \ / _ \ __\/ ___\| |/ \_/ ___\| |
/ /_/ ( <_> ) | \/ < | \_\ ( <_> ) | \ \___| | | \ \___| |
\____ |\____/|__| |__|_ \|___ /\____/|__| \___ >__|___| /\___ >__|
\/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/

They meet on the first Friday of the month (tomorrow!) at the Brewhouse "crashing the cinci2600 meeting".

I've got a few notes on this topic over at DIYcity on our DIYcity_Cincinnati page, too.

I think there are a number of different flavors of "hackerspaces" that we could maybe try: hackerspace, co-working space, free geek, tool library, free culture shop, crafter / maker hangout.

I think that the Critical Mass Pattern makes sense. I think I'm going to go to the meeting tomorrow night at the Brewhouse and see how I can help. Join me?

Update!: A group has formed (online) to discuss setting up a hackerspace in Cincinnati. Check it out at:!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Platforms on which to build a local food distribution system

I've become somewhat preoccupied with this whole "local food distribution" concept and I've been finding different examples of how folks are doing it in other areas. (I list a lot of what I've found in these previous posts: 1, 2 ).

To my mind there are two big components to a local food distribution system. The first component is allowing local producers and consumers to discover each other. The name I have for this component is the "market". It can take the form of a website or a physical meetup at a farmers' market. The second component is moving the food around the region from producer to consumer. I call this the "T&L" component for Transportation & Logistics. This can range from farm stores where the consumer travels to the site of production, to CSA's or farmers' markets where producers and consumers meet up in the middle somewhere at pre-determined times, up to home delivery where food travels all the way to the consumer's home or business.

For the market side of the equation, I've thought mostly about solutions based on the internet. I'm a bit of a technophile and so that is where my mind turns and I honestly think there is a lot of untapped potential there. There are a handful of solutions that can be used basically "off-the-shelf" to varying degrees. Those would be:


I know a lot less about T&L than I do about websites, so I have not figured this out as well. In my mind one of the basic problems with farmers' markets and CSA's is the fact that you have to meetup in a certain place at a certain time. I realize that this is probably the simplest way to do the logistics and I'm not trying to knock it. But it does seem like there is room for other types of physical distribution to be tried. What about a CSA pickup point that is limited in location but not so limited in time? Or a system composed of a distribution center and delivery trucks that send food directly to the doors of subscribers? What would the minimum order sizes be? What would be the optimal delivery frequency? All questions I'm not well equipped to answer. I was at first inspired, then disappointed hearing about CityCargo that seemed to have a good idea that ended up being cancelled. It may in fact be that the weekly or monthly meetup is the most efficient way of distributing goods from many producers to many consumers - I have no expertise in the field, so I can't really say.

Locavore iPhone app - anyone in Cincinnati tried it?

I'm really, really, inspired by this new application for iPhone called Locavore. It brings together a lot of cool info making it super easy eat locally:


* Automatically detects which state you’re in (currently only covers the US)
* Food that’s in season near you
* Food that’s coming in season near you soon
* Farmers’ markets near you
* Browse all 234 fruits and vegetables to see where it is currently growing
* Links to Wikipedia articles and Epicurious recipes from each food detail page
* Browse all 50 states to see what’s in season in other parts of the US

Built with the help of:

* Natural Resources Defense Council for food availability
* for farmers’ markets data
* Tattfoo for colors
* Designed by Matt Hickey
* Integrated with Get Satisfaction Remote for in-app feedback, ideas, and bug tracking

Amazing! But I don't have an iPhone. :( Has anyone out there tried it?

Cincinnati Food Congress - Results?

Did anybody out there reading this attend the Cincinnati Food Congress March 14th?

The possibility of takeaways was brought up on, but I have not seen anything shared or published yet.

I'm interested in what happened since I wasn't able to attend. Were any documents or anything produced at the congress that could be shared / made available online? is a new site that aims to be a place where those people looking for locally grown produce and those people looking to sell locally grown produce can find each other.

In the Cincinnati area the closest listings are for the Boulder Belt Farm in Eaton, OH. They're offering leeks for $1 and 1/2 lb. bags of spinach for $4. Boulder Belt offers many, many more items at farmers' markets, their CSA, or their farm store. Check them out at their blog or website.