Monday, April 8th, 2013
Bloomfield Farms’ Nick Papadopolous holds a perfect head of baby lettuce in his hand. Grown organically on his family farm with patience and care, its crop-mates have gone to some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. But like most farmers, Papadopolous ends up with boxes of perishable produce — including the baby lettuce — that go unsold after farm markets and pick-ups each week.
The clock is ticking on these perishables, which often end up being fed to livestock instead of people. So Papadopolous created CropMobster — a social-media alert system that instantly connects locals with food-gleaning events, “flash sales” and work-trade opportunities to take advantage of produce (and plants) in need of an immediate home. On a recent Monday, I nabbed a box loaded with kale, greens, herbs and seed potatoes for $25 after a friend picked up a pallet from Bloomfield.
Papadopolous is working to bring more farmers and ranchers into the fold as well as social agencies (which are often too overwhelmed to pick up and use large amounts of left-over produce each week). Want to get in on the Mob Alerts? Check out CropMobster.com.