Share the Abundance!

There’s a new website in town with a great idea: share the abundance of fruits and vegetables from your backyard.

Kauai Share the Abundance masthead

A neighbor of mine with a big yard and lots of fruit trees had the idea. He had so much fruit that he couldn’t give it all away and some inevitably went to waste. Plus I imagine he got tired of eating the same fruit day in and day out, not to mention offering the fruit to everybody again and again.

There’s always been informal sharing of produce with family, friends and neighbors on Kaua’i, but this is the age of Web 2.0, and it was time to make a website. The idea is simple and easy to use: anybody on the island can post a short message offering what they have, and anybody can search by produce type or location. Send an email, give them a call, stop by on your next errand, and soon you’ll be enjoying home-grown fruits and vegetables. It’s all free and based on goodwill, so go ahead and try it.

And it works! We already traded lilikoi for avocados and lilikoi juice for coconut water. A lot of people are looking to trade for something else, but I’m sure people are willing to give away small amounts, too. Or this can be your incentive to plant a garden and some fruit trees, so you can join in the trading.

What I really like about the concept is not just keeping all the fruits and veggies from going to waste, but also the sharing of healthy food within the community and creating new connections based on sustainability.

Disclaimer: my wife made the website, and the neighbor who owns it has given me free fruit in the past.

PS: I heard the newspaper is going to run a story about the website (sorry for the scoop), so I predict this is going to become very popular soon. [Update: here’s the article, with a really good tie-in to the whole issue of eating locally and sustainably. Keya Keita is the new features writer at the Garden Island, and she’s been writing some really insightful articles about interesting people and places several times a week–she raises the bar for local bloggers like me.]

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