About the Source
Publication Date: 2016
Producer: LocalHarvest, Inc.
LocalHarvest provides biographical information about each team member including their professional background, experiences, and education. The team includes members with background in software development, ecological horticulture, organic farming certification, farming, sustainability, and local food organization. Their combination of professional experiences and advanced education make LocalHarvest a credible source of information. Members create their own listings.
LocalHarvest currently includes over 30,000 family farms and farmers’ markets. The directory also makes note of restaurants and grocery stores providing local food options. A search for resources near Denton, Texas provided 104 listings including farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, and grocers.
The home page is dense with information and interactive elements. The header has a search tool with e ability to limit searches to specific categories of results including types of markets, shopping options, and popular products or by location. There is also a link to sign up for membership and a login link.
The main body of the site begins with a map, customizable by location noting locations of nearby farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, and groceries. Below this is a list of current events happening in the specified area. Next to the events is a list of featured members in the area. The next section of the body features two local Community Supported Agriculture companies (CSAs) that users can join to receive regular locally harvested food. Below this are featured items from the store catalog on a scrolling menu.
The footer includes links in the following categories: Quick Links, Support, Connect with Us, and Shop. Finally there is a list of metropolitan areas with featured farms and, markets, restaurants, etc.
When a user searches by area, local listings are provided. Each listing is coded with a colored square denoting the type of service it offers. Each listing includes a location and a customer rating in stars. Listings include descriptions provided by the farm. Locations offering online shopping also include a “Shop” link. When users click on an individual listing, LocalHarvest provides a more detailed description, the schedule and address of the listing, contact information, web address, photographs and user reviews. Each individual listing also includes promoted content / outside advertising at the bottom of the page. Users may submit updates to the site for approval on the listing pages.
Though the copyright date is listed as 2016, current information can be found on individual listings, and the site is sustained and updated through local user input reviewed by site managers. LocalHarvest is an inclusive list of local farms, farmers’ markets, and sources for locally produced foods. It would be very useful for users interest in sourcing these items – whether individuals or restaurant owners. As with all sites offering user input and reviews, information provided should be reviewed considering the personal biases of other users.