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The Ripe Blog

A better widget and more variety

Submitted by Alistair Martin on 8th November 2013

Quietly and while no-one was looking we unveiled an exciting new tool.


When we launched RipeNear.Me we knew there were a lot of edible plants in the world, and we had an inkling that categorizing them might be a challenge. Well that was an understatement! Fortunately you, our RipeNear.Me community, are not growing all 80,000+ edible plant species at once (yet!) but you’ve certainly stretched our thinking on what is “sufficient”.

In addition to the plethora of plant species we found another hurdle. Often a piece of produce will have several “common” names, and the one you’re most familiar with depends on from which part of the world you hail.

For example, capsicums may sound quite exotic to a person in North America, but the term bell pepper sounds just as odd down under (they are exactly the same thing). Eggplant can be known as aubergine or brinjal, amongst other things. And many other foods have a far more perplexing number of “common” names.


The Solution

We’ve always thought that RipeNear.Me should just work for you wherever you are, so we’ve spent quite a bit of time (sketching, designing, erasing, sketching again, building) on a new tool that allows you to add produce by the name you know it. Instead of the series of drop down lists, we’ve simplified the “Tell us what you’re growing” field to a text input. As you type, options will drop down from the list. Where more than one common name exists for a food you can select any of them.

Our new produce input widget

If you have trouble finding what you want, you can also expose additional filters to help narrow down the list. With these tools, we’re aiming to make finding what you want a success 99.99% of the time.


Bonus Food

The new widget is not only easier to use, but allows us to dramatically expand the number of plant/food species in the list over time. The interface we used previously was not well suited for long and exhaustive lists. Since we’ve done away with that we’ll be able to go nuts (and fruits + veg!) in terms of species and varieties.

If you’re growing something rare and beautiful that's not in the list we’d love to hear about it. We’ll be constantly adding to the list overtime to create a huge database.

So be sure to check out our new widget, and add some (more) food to share your bounty.

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About RipeNear.Me

RipeNear.Me is a small startup with an ambitious goal.

Driven by a desire to make a positive change, we aim to make it easy to find, share, swap, buy and sell local and homegrown foods.

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