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Sprout grows to share produce

A MONASH University student has created a new way for keen home growers to share, swap or sell their produce with their neighbours.

Computer Science student Joe Sinclair created Sprout which launched just a week ago and has already seen a surprising uptake of the service.

The app gives an easy to use map which shows users who’s around and when you touch on the sprout, it gives their profile and what they have that is ripe and what is growing.

Users can then contact each other if there is something of interest.

Mr Sinclair was originally tasked with creating an ios app last year as part of his course and was inspired when he visited his partner’s family in New Zealand who had an abundance of fresh crops which they shared through honesty boxes.

“Her uncle had a huge backyard overflowing with produce and you would see on the roads these honesty boxes, her uncle had one too.To share what they couldn’t eat so it didn’t go to waste,” Mr Sinclair said.

Mr Sinclair said he wanted to help people do the same in Australia and so set about Sprout which allows people to see who near them has produce available.

“I wanted to make produce freely available for people to share. The idea is that it’s a community based app,” he said.

The app is currently free for use and Mr Sinclair said he hopes to keep it that way.

“In the future I’m hoping some farmers and micro farms may want to advertise their crops as a hot spot,” he said.

At this stage the app is just for home grown produce, due to government regulations.

Mr Sinclair said he has been overwhelmed by the support around the app and is working on having a Android version in the near future.

The Sprout app is available through the Apple store and online at https://www.sprout-ios.com/.