OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Hold Seasonal "Open House" Days at Local Farms

Inspired by artist "open studio" days, the Queensland government could sponsor a 4x yearly "Open House" day at local farms to get urban residents more connected to their local food producers. During the seasonal Open House days, urbanites would get the chance to visit local farms on a "Farm Crawl" and participate in activities like harvesting and cooking lessons. A "Farm Crawl" bus could provide hop on, hop off transport for car-less city residents. Each participant would be provided with a basket to collect food that's picked (or purchased) from each of the farms visited.

Photo of DeletedUser
31 55

Written by

This concept is inspired by "Open Studio" days held in many cities worldwide where artists open up their studios to visitors who want to see how they make their work. Why not do the same with local farms to give urban residents a chance to get out into the country and "see inside" how food is cultivated at nearby farms?


At the start of each season, on a day designated by the Queensland Government, local farms would open their doors to urban residents eager to get out of the city and get to know the producers of their food. Residents would go on a "farm crawl" and make stops at the participating farms, taking part in activities at each farm. Activities could include:


- Harvesting/picking
- Packing produce for transport
- Cooking lessons with produce that's in season
- Tasting dishes prepared with local ingredients
- Lessons on horticulture and gardening


Since city-dwellers often lack their own cars, buses would be provided to pick participants up at major points and take them on a circuit of farms participating in the surrounding areas.


Each participant would be provided with a wicker basket at the start of the "crawl" in which they'd carry food they've purchased (or picked up for free?) at each of the farms.


I'd love to hear your ideas/suggestions on my concept!

Concept builds

Promotional take home items could be sold to generate money to help fund the administrative costs of holding the Open House Farm Days. For example, calendars with information about what fruits/veg are in season each month and recipes that use them could be one such item. (Wells College)

A web platform could be created which would help advertise the Open House Farm Days, and also allow farmers and urban residents stay connected throughout the rest of the year. Farmers can post information about what's coming in season, crop progress, activities they plan on hosting at their farm during the Open House days, etc. Urban residents can log on to communicate with farmers, and other participants to swap recipes, gardening tips, and other food/harvesting news.
(Tanja Rosenqvist)

What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?

An Open House Farm Day committee would need to be created. This committee would liaise between the Queensland government and farmers' networks. The committee would get various farms to come on board for the Open House days, find sources of funding (see below), and work with other synergistic organizations to publicize the events.

Who might make a good partner for this project?

Farmers' Associations (and farmers' markets groups), Environmental Groups, Municipal Governments (to help publicize and provide transport), high-profile restauranteurs, local universities.

What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?

A brand could be made out of the "Open House Farm Days" and promotional items--such as the seasonal calendar described above, gardening tools, baskets, tote bags, etc--could be sold to generate income. Farmers' associations could also provide some funding. Presumably though, the Queensland Government, and other local municipal governments, would be important partners in this sense.

Virtual team

Wells College
Tanja Rosenqvist
Jennifer Tran
Shaona
kanika gupta

31 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Fei Xin

This is an excellent idea. This idea can make more people understand the fresh food production process, and its nutritional value. "During the seasonal Open House days, urbanites would get the chance to visit local farms on a" Farm Crawl "and participate in activities like harvesting and cooking lessons." Through this way can allows people to communicate and discuss cooking experience and learning how to make healthy food for better health.

View all comments