Creating a web-based tool to link farmers with institutional land-lease opportunities
Our computer consultant provided a presentation of the idea for the land bulletin board system to over 60 growers in late March 2012, including some of the elements we had identified in prior focus groups with growers. PHS staff recorded feedback on the elements of system that growers felt would be most useful and additional ideas for elements from growers. The other feedback we received in the meeting was that the growers already all had identified land for 2012 and they would be more interested in testing the system in winter 2012-2013 for the 2013 growing season. Thus, we have changed our timeline to launch the site at our winter producer’s meeting on February 21st 2013 and in early March at the Philadelphia Flower Show which reaches hundreds of thousands of area residents. In the interim our computer consultant has been designing the site, and has added a feature that will allow growers to create a grower profile that introduces them to landowners. We may also create a similar profile for landowners.
Throughout the year PHS City Harvest staff members have been developing information sheets to post in the system for information on getting started growing food in Philadelphia. PHS web designers have been creating a format for these pieces. This part of the system will be completed before the February 21st winter meeting with producers that launches the site. Legal advice is being sought for some of these information sheets as needed.
In April we will report back the number of producers who have used the system and who have successfully identified new land to grow on through the system, as well as the number who identify new land through other means.
Our goal is to increase the number of producers who attain the use of land for production. By creating a site that links private land owners to producers, we hope to increase the number of producers who receive access to land to grow produce on in 2013 as compared to 2012.
PHS staff hosted two meetings to receive input on the elements of the bulletin board system from producers. One meeting was a smaller one with six producers particularly interested in the project. The other was a meeting with over sixty producers who provided feedback on the list of elements created with the smaller group and added additonal elements. Our computer consultant has been designing a system based on this feedback, that includes a producer profile for each producer. PHS staff have been working to create the information fact sheets that will be found on bulletin board system.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
There have not yet been any impacts of this project on land acquisition. We anticipate these impacts will occur in 2013 growing season.
100 North 20th Street, 5th Floor
c/o PHS City Harvest
Philadelphia, PA 19103