Real Time Farms.Com Connects the Dots

In the sustainable food realm, it's all about connecting the dots and being able to trace where food comes from. The tag line of a new innovative website sums it up well: "Know your farmer. Find their food." Real Time Farms. Com aims to help folks do just that by building a virtual food hub linking local consumers to farmers, artisans, markets,  restaurants and retailers that sell local, sustainable food.

Real Time Farms.Com was just re- launched last week. It's the brainchild and project of a Michigan-based former Google Android developer, who after several years with Google decided to branch off and try his hand at starting a business that would support greater food transparency. In the spring of 2010, Real Time Farms was born, and after a summer of user feedback, it's been relaunched to be more useful than ever in connecting the dots of a growing national sustainable food system.

Part of the brilliance behind Real Time Farms, is that it is both local and national, as well as crafted by the players themselves, and tailored to each region. Website users can post pictures and descriptions of their farm, business, or, if they're a consumer, of their favorite places to go for locally sourced food. The website provides an information-rich format to explore you local food system, layering basic information with anecdotes and tips. It also uses interactive maps to map our your local food shed.

Real Time Farms. Com provides a framework for producers and consumers to become more connected. The site not only provide a place for FREE farm/food business publicity, but also harnesses the power of the customer as a marketing tool. Fans and customers of a given farm can post pictures of produce or market stand, rave about a favorite cheese, and generate positivity around the farm, as well as around local food.

Tools like Real Time Farms.Com are an increasingly important tool for farmers and sustainable foodies. By using a grassroots approach such innovative "databases" take advantage of the best that technology has to offer. Sign up as a farm and food lover or producer and download the Real Time Farms app.