Now we can list our feijoas, rosemary, spinach – whatever – on, an online food market that allows people to give away or sell surplus produce from their own backyards.

Aucklander Denise Bijoux began using Ripe Near Me a few months ago after a friend shared a link to the site on Facebook. “I’d already set up an honesty box in front
of my house for produce that we had surplus of, so this was another way of being able
to give away food that would otherwise go to waste,” she says.

“People will send me emails and ask if I still have any limes or whatever, and we’ll arrange a way of exchanging them. Usually, there is an exchange because I’m not asking for money – but not always, and that’s fine.”

Denise says using Ripe Near Me is easier than taking food to the market, and more social than using an honesty box.

“I like it because it’s quite passive,” she says. “I just put it online and people come to me, so it’s an easy way of circulating food. And you get to meet people, which is just as important as sharing the produce.

“It’s pretty light,” she says. “It doesn’t change your food shopping, but it’s a way of making local energy go around and of sharing things that might otherwise go to waste.”

To find out what’s growing near you, visit the Ripe Near Me website and search for your neighbourhood.

Reported for our AA Directions Summer 2013 issue

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The Ripe Near Me website

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