Farm finder

A new online food locator shows us where our food is grown

April 12, 2012

If you’re not buying your food directly from a farmer, it’s not always easy to know where exactly your produce is grown. Enter Real Time Farms, a crowd-sourced online food directory. It’s pretty simple: you search for an ingredient, then hone in on your locale to see the farms near you growing or raising it. You can also look up food artisans and farmers’ markets, and find out where local restaurants source their meat and produce.

In theory, if you enter your ZIP code, you should be able to see the farms, markets, artisans, and restaurants near you, in real time. We’ve found that the database is not quite as robust as it could be just yet; for example, only two eateries appear in the listings for our restaurant-heavy home base of Portland, Oregon. Nor does it appear to account for the seasonality of foods. But as the website grows, it could become a powerful tool for tracking where the food we eat comes from.

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