I was given the link to Local Food Systems by a reporter at the Mount Vernon News. What an interesting site!
I have a question. It seems like most of the data being discussed here comes from external sources - GIS data, Census data, etc. What applications can you think of for data coming directly from the farms and businesses they serve?
Suppose you could have up to the minute statistics on a farm's products - its inventory amounts, amounts promised out to customers, etc. If you were a consumer, you could see in real time what kinds of farms in your area had what kinds of produce available. Think about what other kind of information you could aggregate, information that is not proprietary (competitive) information that could be shared. With such a network, various kinds of business models could be built - offer and acceptance, auctions, etc.
Now, suppose by creating this network you could also provide state of the art GL (general ledger), CRM (customer relationship management) and RP (resource planning) capabilities to each farm.
Best of all, suppose you could do this using 100% open source software?