Ripe Near Me (via TreeHugger) is a new web platform that hopes to connect foodies with the local gardeners that may produce excess food, but aren’t full-time farmers. Currently in beta, it’s the brainchild of Australian developers Alistair Martin and Helena Martin.
They reached an epiphany after seeing fruit growing on local trees, while nearby grocery stores were selling fruit from somewhere else. To connect the apparent supply withe potential demand, Ripe Near Me was created to allow users to post produce and other foods for sale and swap with each other.
That gives growers and outlet, and gives consumers a new resource for finding what they want nearby. People can even “subscribe” to specific fruit trees or produce and receive notifications when they’re ready for sale, or when the grower posts an update.
Of course, the success of a food social network depends on reaching a critical mass of users. Without enough growers or buyers in a given area, the system won’t be able to sustain itself.
Ripe Near Me’s creators are currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Start Some Good, with the goal of turning the platform into a viable alternative for producers and consumers, as well as a financially-sustainable business.