Ripe Near Me app stems from Adelaide suburban foodies' passion to win international attention

The Ripe Near Me app allows backyard food growers to post what fruit and vegetables they want to swap, sell or share.
Image courtesy Ripe Near Me

From the Adelaide suburb of Fulham, Alistair and Helena Martin have inspired thousands of people in their city and around the world to share what they grow in their backyards. Passionate about local, fresh and particularly rare and exotic food, the couple in winter 2012 noticed many local citrus trees full of fruit that nobody was eating. And yet stores were selling plenty of fruit, including imported.

The pair launched a food-sharing website, Ripe Near Me, in 2014. It has attracted international attention. Ripe Near Me was one of 10 finalists in the AppMyCity awards for the world’s best urban apps. It was a finalist in the French OuiShare global awards, from 170 entries in 31 countries.

The Ripe Near Me site allows people to enter their location and find sites where produce is readily available and those with extra fruit and vegetables to register their crops for others to enjoy. The Martins believed that, as well as food sharing, the site was also about people getting to know their neighbours.

Their dream was to get everyone to grow their own food. Reducing food waste is among their other aims, along with providing a platform for growers to establish a profitable ecosystem or micro farm. Helena Martin’s green thumb was developed early, helping her parents tend fruit trees in Singapore and Malaysia where “everyone grew their own food”.

Ripe Near Me was featured in 2014 at one of Adelaide’s largest food-swap events, Edible-izing Adelaide, staged by Sustainable Communities SA in the Burnside Ballroom, with guest celebrities from ABC television’s Gardening Australia,  Costa Georgiadis and South Australia’s Sophie Thomson.

Sustainable Communities SA is a non-profit organisation in South Australia with members in the Adelaide metropolitan area and country areas around the state.

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