harvest neo app connects people to wide array of local foods

Thanks to the volunteers at this year’s Cleveland GiveCamp, there is now a downloadable app for local foods information in Northeast Ohio. The free app brings together information on community gardens, orchards, farms, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, U-pick locations, and farmers markets and stands into a single, easy-to-browse format.

Nicole Wright of the Ohio State University Extension Urban Agriculture Program says the Harvest NEO app is available on iTunes and will soon be available to Android users, too.

“It’s a simple tool that brings together information on different types of local food locations,” she says. “It generates a map based on your current location when it opens, and you can search either using the map or by an alphabetical listing.”

The OSU Extension submitted an application for the Harvest NEO app to Cleveland GiveCamp earlier this year. The annual weekend event, whose tag line is “geeks in the home of rock and roll coding for charity,” is part of a national effort to connect technology professionals with the needs of local nonprofits.

This year, Cleveland GiveCamp was held on July 29th at the offices of LeanDog and Arras, technology and marketing companies that are investing over $500,000 to renovate the former Hornblower’s floating barge into state-of-the-art offices.

Wright says that OSU Extension will soon export a local foods map to its website so that the information is available in one place for web users, too. The nonprofit is also committed to improving the Harvest NEO app’s functionality over time. Ideas for improvement include adding the ability to search by category.

“Hopefully, it is a tool that can help people become more involved and engaged with local foods, either by growing it or purchasing it,” says Wright.

Fresh Water Cleveland, 9/29/11

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