If Alice Waters knew what a computer was, she would probably think about starting a site like FarmsReach, a new online platform for farms and restaurants—each represented by a cute Lego-like figure, one of which has only one arm (pictured)—to find each other. In other words, it's a bit like a dating website for the industry food chain.
The site allows big buyers like restaurants (and schools) the ability to buy food directly from nearby farms based on daily availability. On the other side of the equations, it provides another outlet for the farms to sell their produce beyond the farmers market circuit. It's currently in beta mode in the Bay Area, but come spring, it will expand to seven markets nationwide. But the bigger question here is that if FarmsReach—or a better analogue—really takes off, could it be a viable replacement for farmers markets?
· FarmsReach [Official Site]
· Site Helps Chefs Find Farmers, And Fresh Produce [NPR]