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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Enjoying Every Last Morsel

Jun 24, 2012 06:56PM ● By Megy Karydes

Photo by Todd Jones

What if you were craving heirloom tomatoes for your salad and weren’t growing them in your backyard—

but you had extra eggplants—lots of them? If Chicagoan Todd Jones has his way, subscribers will be able to enter their request into an online database, find a neighbor willing to trade heirloom tomatoes for eggplant, and they will each be devouring that salad in no time.

He says, ““There are thousands of gardeners in Chicago and many more elsewhere who grow millions of pounds of food each year. I want to give those gardeners the opportunity to share the fruits of their labor with the neighbors they didn’t know they had.”

In a perfect world, that’s how Jones, half of the brains behind Every Last Morsel, would see this scenario played out. The concept behind the new organization is to create an online social network to make it easier for people to buy and sell locally grown (make that hyper-locally grown) food.

The idea is so simple that Jones explains it in five easy steps:

  1. Claim your space by creating a profile online at Every Last Morsel (EveryLastMorsel.com) and drop a virtual pin to map your garden’s location.
  2. Track your progress and keep tabs on your plants, what you are growing, how they are growing and update your profile.
  3. Learn from others by following other local growers and seeing what they are doing successfully.
  4. Share your crops and sell, donate or exchange your bounty with others. The important point here is to not let any food go to waste.
  5. Build a community and get to know your neighbors in the process.

Jones has always been attracted to the outdoors, previously managing a landscaping service. Rather than just mowing lawns, he began removing grass and helping his clients to grow food in their backyards. At first, Jones managed their gardens, but the task of keeping tabs on which client was growing what types of plants and where became onerous, and he thought there had to be a better way.

Jones enlisted the help of his web developer and high school friend, Collin Bourdage, to develop an application that would allow him to map garden locations and list the plant varieties growing in each. As often occurs with brainstorms, one idea led to another and Every Last Morsel was born last summer.

“We felt that if we could create a lower barrier of entry to having access to nutritious food locally, more people would seek it out,” says Jones, who believes much of the fun in growing food is sharing it.

Jones and Bourdage launched a web-based Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to help develop the application, and it reached its goal a week ahead of its deadline. The concept is moving forward, and it should soon be easy to find Mortgage Lifters and Brandywines in your network.


For more information, visit EveryLastMorsel.com.

Megy Karydes is a professional writer who unselfishly lets her children enjoy first dibs from her garden’s bounty. After that, the gloves are off. Reach her at KarydesConsulting.com.