Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The folks at Sustainable Table that manage the Eat Well Guide have developed a really useful tool. Its at http://www.eatwellguide.org/travel_map Its another of the very useful tools that utilize Google Maps and integrate links to useful information right from the map itself. Basically you put in your travel plan, that is your departure point and your destination. Then you'll get a guide to all the markets, restaurants, farms, etc that are on your route that you may want to visit. You can create a printable document to take with you if you wish. A very handy tool. We like to visit farms and markets when we are on the road also. Even just plotting a short trip to Virginia, I discovered many places that I wasn't aware of. Check out the tool, very useful and nicely done.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
West Virginia University Journalism School students Leann Arthur and Andy Smith did a senior capstone multimedia project about our farm. They visited the farm twice last month. The link is http://wvuncovered.wvu.edu/stories/hampshire_county/sustainable_farming
The journalism department has an an entire series called WV Uncovered on their web site which is excellent. Really nice how they integrated the Google Map on their web site to point out all the locations where they did stories. The slides and video look very nice and included all of the animals. Since it was March everything was brown, I just wish the fields and woods had been green and growing. So check out the article and video and tell us what you think.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Church View Farm is now on Facebook. The motivation for it came from web consultant Small Farm Central and Three Springs Farms in Aspers, PA where a dynamic 22 year old farm manager has brought their farm into the future. I also figured that if Facebook is good enough for Bill Gates, then there must certainly be something to it. On Facebook, (www.facebook.com) just search for "Church View Farm" and you'll find our page. Its another way for us to keep in touch with everyone throughout the season. Its a good way to publish a message, photo or video, and get it out to everyone very quickly. And as the chart shows, all of these tools now coexist online. If you become a "fan" of Church View Farm, you'll get notified about events and updates. Our "fans" will likely get offered some discounts. No one is really sure where on line social media may be going. Just like no one is really sure about where something like alternative energy or biofuels may be going. Social media certainly exists now, for example if you are in a book club, a garden club, a study group, an alumni group, or a church class, you are doing social media, whether you realized it or not. If you have ever given someone an article to read or told then about a good book or movie, you are doing social media. When farmers/growers and customers do social media, its a real opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. Custom growing is perfectly suited to this. For ex, we are growing sorrel, tuscan kale, purslane, specialty greens and other items based upon customer request. Doing this interaction on line say via Facebook will lead to more inquiries on line and more custom growing. We'll be planting and growing things next year that we are not even the least bit aware of today. On line, it all just happens a lot faster. Instead of growing things, and taking them to market hoping they will get sold, we can instead grow things that are in effect already sold, because we have already connected via a messaging system like Facebook. Solving supply/demand mismatch is the key to success. You see this in commerce all the time, and organizations that don't master it can not succeed. (Think Circuit City) These social media tools can solve this by helping communicate in advance. 5 years ago, no one really knew where Google was going either. Its all being created on the move. Now your Senator is doing Twitter updates and your President is taking your questions on line. Who ever would have thought?