So where do we go from here? How do we even begin to change the story of food and to restore the relationship we once had with it? It is so easy for me to sit back and talk about all the things that are wrong or that I don’t like about an issue, but to actually act on those feelings is often an overwhelmingly daunting task. Fear so frequently paralyzes us when it comes to the unknown. There is so much at stake that sometimes it feels as though it isn’t worth it. We hide behind what is simple because it is the path of least resistance, which feels like the natural path to choose. But, I am pretty sure we all know where this cliché is heading, so let’s skip the words that we use to sooth our conscience and figure out what we can and will do about it.
If you have spent time looking around the website, you have probably been able to get a pretty good idea about what we are trying to create. While we believe that the concept is much greater, in every sense of the word, than a single product, Know is a tangible manifestation of these beliefs. By leveraging technology to create a platform for producers and consumers to exchange food goods, we can make good food available to more people and get more people to start partaking of the local food that surrounds them. That is the broad picture of what Know is, but there are a lot of details woven into this plan that will further aid the advancement of local food systems everywhere.
We will spend a good bit of time on each of these details through the coming weeks, but what I want to talk about first is, in my opinion, what has constrained the local food system for so long: access. Providing access is a crucial part of making the local food system competitive with the expectations set by the modern food industry. What if farmers had the ability to share their products on a marketplace as soon as they were brought in from harvest? And, what if consumers could access this marketplace at any time from wherever they are? If these two parties can be united in this manner, a large portion of the problem has just been resolved. So first and foremost, Know will be a beautiful and simple marketplace to help foster this relationship.
The next step is figuring out logistics. How will farmers get their products to the customers in a way that is efficient and convenient for both? Know will help bring the parties together by allowing farmers to select locations where they will be and then have the customer pick from those options. We will also have a delivery feature that will deliver to homes and places of work. Using a modified version of what can best be compared to crowdsourcing, Know will add in the benefit of scale to farmers’ deliveries, cutting down on time and distance to get everything where it needs to be.
So, now that we have fresh food flowing I want to briefly introduce one more feature that we believe will be a huge benefit to farmers. Through Know, farmers will have the ability to collect, track, and manage all of their production activities, from seasonal planning to financial analysis all in one program that can produce meaningful reports in a few simple clicks.
I am so excited about building this platform, but there is only one little detail I have to overcome first, and you may gave figured it out by now…money. Unfortunately, even the best of ideas are held captive by capital. And, let’s be honest, it’s not much fun having to go around ask people to empty their pockets for you. It can be awkward and nerve wracking. But I am so confident in this project and the ability to use it for good that I am willing to do whatever it takes to see it through. I have been working with a developer who, based on the wireframe prototype I created, has helped me establish a budget that will give me the necessary funds to build the first version of the app. To go about raising these funds, I have decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Now we just need to rally an audience that is equally as excited about this project and that is willing to commit to making it a reality. To check out our campaign, you can click here! And, as always, I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on anything you read above or whatever is on your mind when it comes to developing a more sustainable food system.