[personal profile] alexbayleaf in [community profile] growstuff

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

We’re two weeks from the end of our crowdfunding campaign and I don’t mind telling you it’s incredibly hard work — especially when you manage to sprain your wrist and can’t spend too long at the computer!

Here’s how things currently stand:

We’re aiming to get at least $10,000 to have a developer work intensively on making Growstuff’s open food data more accessible and usable by the world, and $20,000 to fulfil our overall goal.

If you haven’t contributed yet, please do so! Here are ten reasons why:

  1. Growstuff’s database of edible crops is 100% free and open, licensed under CC-BY-SA. It’s vitally important that information about growing food not be locked up in proprietary websites.
  2. Growstuff’s data is international. Many other food-growing websites are US- or UK-specific, but ours gathers data on how to grow any crop, anywhere in the world.
  3. We’re edible crop specialists. While there are other open databases of biological species or garden plants in general, we’re the only ones who can tell you about harvesting zucchini flowers or all the different varieties of chilli pepper. Food growing isn’t just gardening: it’s about the use of the crops, too, which means we need different approaches.
  4. Growstuff is for small-scale growers. Most of the existing open data about growing food is aimed at big agri-business. However, small-scale growers and backyard veggie gardeners are increasingly important to a diverse and resilient food system.
  5. Growstuff is community-focused. We have a strong commitment to collaboration and transparency, and over a hundred community members from all around the world have helped build Growstuff so far.
  6. Growstuff mentors and supports new developers through our inclusive open source community. Many of our contributors come to us to learn web development, then go on to jobs in the tech industry.
  7. Growstuff supports women in technology and open source. Women make up less than 25% of people in the ICT sector, around 10% of executive positions in tech companies, and single digit percentage of open source developers. Growstuff provides a respectful, supportive environment which means that around half of our developers — including those in leadership positions — are women.
  8. We’re an established project. Many projects for food-growing data are great ideas, but they haven’t built anything yet (and some never do). However, we already have a platform, a database of hundreds of crops, and over 1200 members across 6 continents. We’re not just a flash in the pan.
  9. We are open data experts. Growstuff’s founder, Alex Bayley, previously worked on Freebase from 2007 until after its acquisition by Google in 2010, and was instrumental in the early days of Wikidata.
  10. Our API developer’s expertise and experience in working on Wikipedia’s APIs means she’ll bring exactly the right combination of analysis of developers’ requirements, hands-on coding, documentation and outreach. But she’s not available for long — if we want to work with Frances, we have to do it now.

Contribute to Growstuff’s campaign to share our open food data with the world. There are great perks for gardeners and developers, and you’ll be supporting one of the best open food data projects around.

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The Growstuff Project

June 2016

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