Our team was made aware of the large amount of farm surplus that was being thrown away due to supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because typical wholesale buyers such as restaurants and schools are unable to purchase products anymore and charities and food banks are not equipped to handle large amounts of produce. We felt that we could look for technological solutions to address the disconnect between those looking for food and farmers with surplus food. Farmily was made in order to eliminate the middlemen in the supply chain and empower local growers.

What it does

Farmily is a web page designed to be easy to access and intuitive to use while still giving enough functionality to the user for its purpose to be achieved. Farmers are able to sign in on the app and put their location into a database which contains information on what they sell, their prices, how much they can sell, and also their farm name. The website will also allow for images to be posted for users to see what they are purchasing. For those looking to purchase food they are able to search around them for nearby farms where they are able to retrieve excess food that otherwise would have been thrown out. This simple design allows for consumers to directly interact with farmers and also serves to be a central hub for such interactions instead of the many small and scattered facebook groups that have a similar purpose.

How we built it

We had started our idea by prototyping our web page design and the paths the user would take using Figma. After we had finished our basic design for the web pages we converted the designs into HTML and CSS code so that the website could be accessible by using github pages. We then set up a firebase database so that users and their information could be stored and retrieved properly to ensure that all data entered into the front end would be logged accordingly. We connected the database to the front end webpages by using Javascript. Additionally we also used the google maps API in order to show users an easy to navigate map with the farmers information posted as locations around the user.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into many challenges while creating this project. Firstly, our team was composed solely of back end developers which made our front end development very hard as it was our first times working with HTML and CSS let alone linking that to Javascript code to connect the front and back end. Additionally our team had very little experience with Javascript, Figma, Firebase, and the google maps API. This meant we had to do extensive learning while creating this project and encountered many hardships as we essentially build this whole project without previous experience with any of the components. Lastly, as this was an online project due to social distancing there was many hurdles that came along with the non traditional workflow of communicating online versus in person hackathons that our team had to acclimate to during the whole project duration.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team was very proud of our work not only for what it stood for in terms of helping others but also with our own personal milestones. We were all able to step out of our comfort zone and develop an entirely new toolkit during this event as we came out knowing so much more than we came in not only for using new tools but also concepts such as user authentication and the use of cookies and databases too. The moment that we were able to go from being unable to even read the documentation properly to creating a whole website out of the same material we were just learning was certainly a magical moment to us as we saw the fruits of our effort and learning materialize before our eyes.

What we learned

We had learnt many things as a teach overall. Each member was able to create HTML and CSS pages properly and started to utilize more advanced tools in the website such as changing text or elements that shifted depending on the screen size. Additionally we were able to grasp the basics of a firebase database and were able to successfully read and write into it via implementation of javascript in the front end. Other hard skills that we developed were website design and prototyping with Figma and the use of the google maps API to set custom markers from user data. For soft skills we were able to increase our teamwork abilities and also our time management as we were able to effectively communicate our needs and worked together to ultimately reach our goal of creating the website with the functionality that we desired in it.

What's next for Farmily

All our team members have a deep interest in the problem Farmily aims to solve and we anticipate that we are able to continue to refine our new skills until we are able to add more functionality to the website and ultimately create a platform that can reach out to millions and make a difference in many lives around the world as hard times such as currently persist.

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