Customer Discovery Prototype

1.    Problem definition/Problem statement (repeat here the problem you defined in the prior weeks including for whom, i.e. the description of your user)

Problem Statement: How might we rehabilitate the modern agricultural industry for small farmers by connecting small farms in the tri state area to local farms and community gardens so that urban communities are able to better understand the connection between health, history, and the land that we inhabit. 

User Description: People interested in healing, specifically alternative healing through diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Targeting urban environments- busy people with little extra time
  • Do not particularly like mainstream drugs or treatment
  • Want to become more educated on holistic medicine and healing, interconnectivity, and the link between health, the earth, and ones history
  • All ages: education starts from a young age although some treatments and medicines are age restricted
  • Are becoming more conscious of what they put in and on their body
  • People who feel their problems may have a deeper root but don’t know how to access it
  • Want to increase their connection to the earth, their community, their history, and themselves

2.    Why is the problem important:

Americans, especially those located in urban environments have completely lost connection to this earth. NYC is such a diverse population with so many differing cultures and practices. These traditions leard back generations and generations to our ancestors who left this land fertile and strong for us to continue to grow on. We owe it to our past generations, to continue to cherish this land we live on, and learn about our health and history through what we are able to produce on it. I find it insane that we throw out fruits and vegetables because they do not look ‘perfect’. We have become so sensitized to imperfection and self sufficiency. This is an opportunity to bring that back. 

3.    Alternative ideas & Feedback

a.     Briefly describe here the 5 or more ideas (you can use the brief description that you used last week – and even include your drawing if you like)

  • Buy community garden to act as hub for grassroots organization and connection to small farms in tri- state
  • Partnership with small, family owned farms in the tri state area to buy starters, seeds, supplies, etc. create a mutual assistance with these families so we can both continue running
  • Use community gardens as middle men for farmers markets more than just once a week
  • Database of gardens and farms in NYC, AND ALL OF THEIR INFORMATION, so that residents are able to easily access their local community garden
  • Grassroots organization between gardens throughout the city so we can create some type of barter system between farms, and help out eachother when need be. 
  • Gardening workshops (filmed for online use later)
  • Forum where low income families can express what they need to come to the garden

b.     What was – in a nutshell – the feedback for each of those ideas? What did you learn? (ca. 5-6 sentences)

A home base is definitely necessary. Somewhere where we can collaborate and brainstorm in person. The internet delays and confuses people so in person meetings are the best. This is beneficial also because once people see the space that we are working with, they will be way more inclined to continue visiting. Anything over the internet is just a bonus to what we are doing in person. And this work requires a lot of word of mouth and in person community outreach. 

4.    Taken together: what did you learn overall? What is the common denominator across your users’ feedback and comments? Do you see a pattern? Did they give you ideas what to improve – and how? [Note: you can learn a lot from failure – so consider this an important learning for next steps!] (ca. 5 sentences) 

Most of the reason that low income families fail to take advantage of farmers markets, free food fridges, community gardens, and other options to fresh local food is due to lack of time, and lack of resources. They don’t have a car to got to these places or carry the food back home, they don’t have childcare, some farmers markets are more expensive than supermarkets!  It is really about reaching out to these communities so that they are aware that these options are here. Figuring out what would help them get out to a community garden in their area with their kids to learn and cherish this connection to the earth and our history. Most people are very motivated after seeing the space in person. After people visit a community garden in person they are way more likely to come back and check in. 

5.    Describe here the new solution:

I think more community outreach is necessary, maybe creating a forum where residents can explain where they need help in getting to a community garden in the area. The acquisition of a community garden is necessary so some type of grassroots organization can happen between community gardens. As well as our connection to small, family owned farms, that are struggling right now. Our supplies, seeds, and any other material we can get will come from them. There is a need for a space for people to organize, learn, and grow for themselves and the community.  Whether this be at the community garden that I acquire as the base hub, or whether it be online, or even door to door. It is important to at least get the community out to the community garden one time. They are way more likely to keep visiting if we can see them in person.

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