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.

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

Makerspace Adelaide offers open access to tools/skills to explore ideas, resuse material

Makerspace Adelaide, due to open in Franklin Street in the city CBD in 2019, is an evolution of Fab Lab Adelaide, started in 2012. Funded through the state government’s Green Industries SA shared fabrication spaces infrastructure programme, the maker space provides anyone from the community with access to shared equipment, tools and of people who have knowledge and networks. People can develop skills and design, create, make and produce their ideas. The Adelaide Makerspace will promote the reuse, recovery and repurposing of materials to make the most of them – essential to creating a more circular economy. The makerspace will enable the community to use skills in diverse areas such as welding, 3D printing, laser cutting, computer-assisted design and digital production. It will also offer workshops and training programs, as well as developing partnerships with industry, schools, academic institutions and the not-for-profit sector. Since 2015, the volunteers behind the not-for-profit SA Makers organisation have been the driving force, fostering the maker movement in South Australia and producing the world-class Adelaide Maker Faire that became the largest event of its kind in Australia, although suspended in 2018. Access to Adelaide Makerspace is available to individuals as well as business and industry, to develop skills and access  equipment needed to create rapid prototypes and concepts. A South Australian North East (SANE) Makerspace is based at suburban Holden Hill while related skill-sharing groups include Hackerspace Adelaide and The Adelaide Remakery.
 

Jane Goodall announces addition to Monarto Zoo chimpanzee troop during her visit in 2019

Jane Goodall, the world-renowned primatologist, visited Adelaide Zoo and its sister zoo Monarto Zoo in 2019 to announce that its chimp Zombi was pregnant. Dr Goodall visited the expectant mother and met and named Hope, another recent baby chimp baby at Monarto. The visit coincided with the 10th anniversary of the chimpanzee enclosure at Monarto Zoo, opened by Goodall in 2008. Zoos SA works to help save chimps from extinction through involvement in international breeding programs and by supporting Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone and the Jane Goodall Institute Australia. Goodall acknowledged the importance of captive breeding programs with wild chimp populations thought to have decreased by 90% over  20 years. She endorsed Zoos SA’s work with PhoneCycle to recycle or refurbish old mobile phones, eliminating the need to extract new raw materials (often mined in areas of chimpanzee habitat) and providing phones to those who can’t afford them. All funds raised supported conservation work at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Jane Goodall Institute of Australia. Monarto Zoo was home to 10 chimpanzees at the start of 2019. The females are alphas Zombi and Galatea, both born at Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands and arriving at Monarto in 2010. Hannah and Lani came to Monarto in 2018 from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. Zombi’s daughter Zuri in 2012 was the first chimpanzee born at Monarto. Little brother Enzi followed in 2015. Tsotsi (alpha), Sandali, Boyd and Gombe were the males troop at Monarto.

Grow Free flourishes from Fleurieu Peninsula as a way for gardeners to share organic food

Grow Free is a concept, started by Andrew Barker on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, that has spread interstate with an early foothold overseas. The grassroots community movement is built around placing share carts on streets where locals fill them with excess organic food produce from their gardens. People are free to take as much or little as they need from the carts. The location of carts on a map is shared via the Grow Free Facebook group. Grow Free also offers seedlings for heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers. Grow Free founder Andrew Barker developed a taste for gardening when he moved onto a farm at Meadows on the Fleurieu Peninsula. But his epiphany came at a local supermarket where he was surprised by what people were buying and eating and passing these habits to their children. He realised even middle-class families weren’t able to afford organic food. Barker started what became Grow Free by giving away seeds and seedlings from his home. This grew into people wanting to help and be involved. Grow Free was soon helping people set up gardens, organising sharing carts, attending sharing markets, cooking at a meals program, and promoting good health in the community. Beginning in Victor Harbor and other Fleurieu towns Goolwa, Yankalilla and Strathalbyn, Grow Free carts have grown past 100, including appearing of the streets of Melbourne and Perth, as the “Take what you need and give what you can” philosophy spreads. Its excess produce is also donated to charities. Grow Free has attracted interest from the Netherlands, Iceland and the USA. 

Richard Schomburgk turns Adelaide Botanic Garden into beautiful showpiece of the colony

Richard Schomburgk, Adelaide Botanic Garden's second curator from 1865, turned a “sterile waste” into one of the colony’s most beautiful spaces.Schomburgk set a programme of building and improvement and, by 1868, the rosery and the experimental garden were open. He visited Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Mueller, who had started building his vast knowledge of Australian botany in South Australia, and returned from Melbourne with a valuable collection of plants for gardens.



 

Australia's first street surface made from 100% recyclable material laid in Adelaide city in 2019

Australia’s first road made completely from recyclable materials was laid in Adelaide city’s centre’s south west in 2019. The new road laid on Chatham Street is made entirely from reclaimed asphalt pavement from nearby streets and recycled vegetable oil from local suppliers. The new street is 25% stronger than standard asphalt and will last longer. Many councils across Australia have tried asphalt recycling but the City of Adelaide is the first to achieve a 100% recycled road made completely from renewable materials after a push it started in 2018 to align street paving with the city council’s ambitions to become a leading smart, green, liveable and creative city.  The new Chatham Street surface project was around the same cost as the standard process. The road was delivered in partnership with the Downer Group who process the asphalt at its Wingfield plant with state-of-the-art machinery and careful testing. The recycled road can reduce CO2 emissions from production by up to 65%, when mixed at a lower temperature (warm mix asphalt), compared to standard asphalt made with virgin materials. Chatham Street wasn’t a one-off exercise. Little Sturt Street and Little Gilbert Street were next to be resurfaced with different mixes including 63,158 plastic bags, 2,353 glass bottles – plus toner from more than 2,880 cartridges that were originally destined for landfill.

South Australian levy on landfill waste raises funds for recycling but councils wearing cost

The South Australian government raised its solid waste levy from $76 a tonne in 2016 to $140 in 2019-20. The levy on waste dumped at landfill is collected by the government’s Environment Protection Authority and a portion is transferred to the Green Industry Fund that Green Industries SA draws on. The extra tens of millions of dollars raised from the levy increase was intended to go to grants to councils for infrastructure, waste education and collecting hazardous waste. The Environment Protection Authority would also get extra funding to manage contaminated sites as well enforcing waste control. Another large amount was marked for climate-change initiatives to move the state’s economy to a low-carbon future and make Adelaide a carbon-neutral city. The solid waste levy has been controversial with South Australian local-government councils. Waste management is one of the councils'  largest expenses  – costing them more than $191 million in 2015/16, with $22 billion waste management assets owned and maintained by local government. The councils have argued the solid waste levy is a state tax on waste landfill that makes council rates more expensive. South Australia’s strategic plan in 2015 set a target of reducing waste to landfill by 35% by 2020. The state government used the strategy to encourage businesses to avoid producing waste or to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste. The Environment Protection Authority is assigned to protect the environment by regulating the disposal, transport and treatment of industrial waste. 

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback