As we put the finishing touches on this new version, I dug back and discovered that we’d launched the previous and original version of the site (pictured for posterity at right) around the time the Bush Administration launched its ill-fated invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003. They chose swords, we chose plowshares … I’ll let you decide who made the smarter, more sustainable and healthful decision, but I think everyone would agree that the country’s a very different place than it was five years ago. If nothing else, it was time to leave George back in 2003, rotate to a fresh field and plant something new.
In upgrading and redesigning the site, we had two overall goals: make it easier for you to use and easier for us to keep up. To address the former, we brainstormed a bunch of new features, some of which you’ll see described below. To make the site easier to maintain, we built it on the super-intuitive, open-source WordPress blogging platform, adjusting the look and functionality to suit our specific, farmy needs. We’re excited at all the new things it offers us, so take a look around and let us know what you think!
Here are but a few of the site’s new features:
- Recipe index — just click on an item you received in your share and want to include in a dish. We’ll show you all the recipes shareholders have sent us that feature that item as a primary ingredient. Don’t see your favorite? Check out the guidelines on our Recipe page and send it to us!
- Search! Now you can search the entire 47th Ave Farm website, including past newsletters and — did we already mention this? — recipes!
- Our farm plot locations in live Google maps — Check out our new Contacts page!
- Books we love – An ongoing catalog of books we’re reading or ones we recommend. Clicking the books takes you to that book’s page at Portland’s famous Powell’s Books online store — if you’re so moved to purchase it, the Farm gets a small commission. What better way to while away a winter night?
- Farm video! More timely links to audio-visual treats like Cooking up a Story and other video features on the farm or sustainable agriculture. We’ve collected a few of them here — take a look and pass the links to friends!
- Contributions by the farm crew — As you know, we couldn’t get all those delicious vegetables to you without the hard work and expertise of our farm crew. They’re the ones who really get their hands dirty (literally!), so we wanted to offer some space on the site for their insights and reflections.
- Easier updating – In the past, we needed to go through some wonky web guy (ahem) for all the changes to the site. Now, using WordPress blogging software, it’s nearly as simple as typing, so it’ll be much easier for us to keep the site fresh and up to date.
- Better integration into the ongoing, online dialog about local, sustainable agriculture, food security, the joys of farming with drafthorses, and more! We’re looking forward to linking you to what other people are saying about food and farming, and we’re hoping others do the same to us.
- Conversation – Along the same lines, we want the site to be a meeting place where conversations can begin and flourish, so the new site will allow comments on applicable posts by registered users. Sign up and join in!
Is that change you can believe in? Let us know!