As a child, Bennett J Kireker was exposed to different aspects of agriculture. On a typical day, he would take care of the cows, check on the egg-laying hens, and tend to vegetables and fruit-bearing trees. Even if he embarked on a different career path, his heart has always belonged to the soil. Now, he is constantly looking for ways to make farming an appealing career choice for young people and professionals alike.
One way to raise awareness of urban farming is through social media networking. While most people think of social media as a pastime, it holds a lot of potential for urban farmers such as Bennett Kireker. New York City alone, for instance, is home to thousands of rooftop gardens, and even if urban farmers meet and discuss their projects from time to time, there is very little real-time sharing of garden and crop status.
This is where startups such as Harvest Geek come in. The Harvest Geek app allows farmers to interact with each other on a regular basis. These interactions come in the form of image sharing as well as data and information crowdsourcing. This is particularly useful for those who grow niche products, such as heirloom vegetables and super-hot peppers, for which information is hard to find on normal search engines.
Other ways to take advantage of social networking include farm-to-market and farm-to-table apps, which can connect local urban farmers with retailers, restaurants, and individual consumers in the vicinity. The Internet of Things can also be used to come up with microclimate data, which can be used and processed by rooftop farmers located on the same block.
Bennett Kireker believes that social media has the power to change the way farming is done, both on urban gardens and on larger farms located outside the city. He will closely monitor this trend and keep you informed about the latest farming technology news, so keep this page bookmarked!