If you're not familiar with our story, RipeNearMe is co-founded by Helena and I. We started with a simple question: "What if we could connect people to food that's growing all around, on roadsides and in neighbour's yards?". We've been on an amazing journey ever since.
We've poured our heart and soul into it, and the feedback we've received has been overwhelming and humbling! RipeNearMe, and what it stands for, seems to strike a chord with people all across the world. There's something about empowering each of us as individuals to collectively reclaim our food system - by simply being part of it in a similar way to our grandparents and the generations before them.
RipeNearMe, at the time of writing, now spans 16 countries in 5 continents. Our community have posted some amazing produce; from avocados in Sydney, to tomatoes in LA, bananas in the Bahamas, duck eggs in Spain, and guavas in Cape Town.
Your support fuels our vision and desire to work harder than ever before. With the great feedback we've received a lot of fantastic suggestions, ideas and feature requests. Some have been implemented immediately, and others we have had to delay. It turns out that building a fully featured social network and web app is kinda expensive (I know, who'd have thought!). To date, the entire project has been self funded. We've held down our jobs, and spent our nights developing, designing, planning, improving and connecting. We've also been contracting and employing, delegating and investing. We've burnt a good size hole in our pockets, but we'd do it all again in a flash.
On May 13th, we'll be launching our crowdfunding target to raise seed funds for huge improvements. From user-groups for community gardens and food swappers, to more pricing and charity options, farmer tools/support, native apps, easier seed sharing, improved notifications, and much, much more.
We can easily fund a significant number of these improvement if each of our users were to pledgejust $20. If you're like me, you've all spent that and more on bland, tasteless and nutrient deprived impostors (can we really call it fresh fruit and veg?) peddled by major retailers and industrial agriculture. So, imagine if we all chipped in $20 or more to grow RipeNearMe, so that you, me and millions of others like us around the world can pick our fresh produce from the landscapes around us, and directly from the plant or source - not a shelf!
So from May 13th, and for 45 days, this url will be the focus of our energy: www.startsomegood.com/ripenearme
Happy growing, may the (garden) forks be with you.