It seems like a good idea to be using modern technology to increase efficiency on the farm. Joel Salatin talks about this quite a bit.
So I'm thinking of ways to make it easier for our customers to access our products...
I'll start with the honesty box system. These are great, but for me personally, I don't carry a lot of cash on me, so when I see one, I just drive on by.
I wonder if we could develop a mobile app honest box. There are a few software developers here.
The idea would be that a person can create a honesty box account, and farmers can create virtual honesty boxes. A customer can then choose the produce they want, and use the app to register their purchase with the farmer.
No money changes hands at "point of sale".
The system can then be integrated with electronic payment systems (like Paypal), so that the customer can clear their account periodically, or even in real time.
Hmm, Nick really interesting idea . Is it basically modelled after or operating like a bank debit card transaction then? Are there ways to make the information from the 'box' secure say if it is unmanned and someone swipes the box for its information ?
I still like the idea of knowing your farmer, having an honest and honourable relationship with those you derive a good or service from , and being your own provider where and when you can.
Yes absolutely secure. The information wouldn't be stored in the box, just an identifier (like a barcode) for locating it on line. With a mobile app, you don't need to have a cellular connection to capture the transaction either.
I was thinking of a system like in the old days when a shop keeper kept an account book for the local farmers. They'd make purchases throughout the year and when the harvest came in, the farmer would clear their account. This system would keep track of who owes the farmer and remind them to clear their account periodically. It would still be an honor system, just with better tracking. Of course that could change to a debit type system... I'm just brainstorming here.
Lots of people want to develop a relationship with the farmer, and they can still do so. Others prefer to know the story behind the food.
A system like this means that someone could "pay" for their purchase, and at a later time read or view video that the farm want's to place on their profile.
The farmer could even place links to their blog, or permies forum
I think of the internet personality phenomena. Take Paul Wheaton for example. 1000's of people feel that they know Paul well because of the podcasts and videos he produces, even though they have never met him, and Paul certainly does not know them.
That's an interesting concept and all the technology and systems needed are already in place. I just read an article about a new device that is shaped like a cup with a card reader on the top that coffee houses use to collect tips. Each swipe debits a set amount (usually $1) as a tip for the servers, and apparently this has helped make up for declining tips due to people not carrying cash. I'm sure the IRS loves it, and I'm not too keen on moving to a totally trackable currency system. But if you want to make sales, you have to be able to accept the currency people are using.
All the pieces exist (I think), you just have to put them together elegantly.
QR codes and smartphones will work anywhere there is a good data signal. No electronics at the site. It is just how to make the transaction painless enough.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
I'm thinking about having the camera app store the qr code until there is a data signal (for out of range boxes) and upload it then.
Now, I wonder what the tax implications are if such a system integrated into an existing barter system. The farmer could then choose between cash or goods / services.
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead, that tiny ad sure bled