2nd December 2017

Catchment survey at The Plant

I have visited many urban agriculture schemes by this point, but don't often get a good idea of how far-reaching these projects are. Today I revisited The Plant, an urban farm experiment in the Back Of The Yards neighbourhood (blog posts for previous visits here and here). With the permission of Liz Lyon, the market manager, and the assistance of my flatmate Hailey Justes, I asked customers leaving the farmers market to pin on a 10km radius where they intended to consume the food produce they had just purchased. For those over 10km away we noted down zipcodes.

We did not find anything unexpected. What the results show is that first time consumers tended to come from further afield than repeat consumers, which is unsurprising, but interesting to have visibly confirmed. You can see this on the results map below by the concentration of yellow dots directly around The Plant, and the spread of red dots in the outer rings (particularly over 5km away).

Of the 128 consumers we recorded responses for, 59% were consuming from this farmer’s market (or a food business in the building) for the first time. 14% of the recorded consumers claimed to have bought food produce from the market (or a food business in the building) on at least 9 previous separate occasions.

These results reflect very positively on The Plant. Perhaps most importantly, they show that there is a core group of repeat consumers who live in the vicinity - this suggests decent community engagement. The results also indicate that something is drawing considerable numbers of people from further afield - so either they are running an effective advertising or outreach/awareness campaign, or their existing consumer base is very talkative and has spread word of The Plant by mouth. Or both of the above.

I asked each visiting group to add one colour-coded sticky dot to the map.