As concerns for organic and sustainable practices in agriculture become increasingly more popular, the awareness for where produce and other ingredients come from become more important as well. However, it’s not only a matter of supporting local business and healthier eating but also as a means of fostering an actual relationship with the people putting food on the table.
iGrow is a new virtual initiative to provide people who want direct access to vegetables and herbs a personal allotment that is grown and taken care of for them by Abbey Parks Farms. People who chose to purchase and moderate their allotments do so virtually according to their own needs. It’s kind of like FarmVille but instead of a game relegated to Facebook there are actual crops being grown and harvested. Abbey Parks does all the labor while owners simply oversee the process.
A variety of crops can be chosen from to create a custom allotment tailored specifically to a person’s or restaurant’s needs. It’s like crops on demand wherein only what is needed gets produced. Crops include lettuce, beans, kale, artichokes, potatoes, onions, radish, corn and more.
Besides offering anyone access to home grown crops, it provides an opportunity for people who want to take care of their own personal garden but don’t necessarily have the time or space. This works especially well for people in urban areas that don’t necessarily have available access to harvestable land in their immediate area. By virtually connecting people with an actual farm it it makes people better aware of where their crops are coming from while also developing a relationship with the place they are being harvested.
Currently, people can order allotments for a year and schedule to acquire the crops any time during harvest season. The farm is located in East Heckington, Lincolnshire. An allotment costs 104 pounds a year and 8 rows of vegetables costs 21 pounds.