Blog

Posts by Michael Caplan

Full-Time Software Developer Position

Posted on by Michael Caplan

HarvestHand is a small start-up company in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Our mandate is to participate in building a vibrant local food economy by providing new media solutions that help to bring together farmers and food consumers in mutually beneficial ways.

JOB TITLE

Software Developer

This is a full-time, term position for a minimum of six months. Starts immediately.

TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • development and maintenance of HarvestHand Web based CSA software platform
  • develop innovative new features and evolve current feature sets
  • analyse software to ensure stability, availability, and performance
  • identify and implement proactive solutions to address potential issues
  • identify ideas for system improvements
  • respond to customer support needs
  • participation in preparation and implementation of  training materials
  • thrive in a startup environment and familiarity with launching “lean” software applications

QUALIFICATIONS

experience using:

  • Linux
  • Apache HTTP server
  • MySQL relational database management system
  • PHP programming language
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript

FIELD OF STUDIES

Applicants should be graduates of a recognized  computer science training program (degree or diploma) with a concentration in web development.

ELIGIBILITY

  • be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons who have been granted refugee status in Canada;
  • be between 15 and 30 years old (inclusive); required by funders.
  • have graduated from a post-secondary institution;
  • be legally entitled to work according to relevant provincial legislation and regulations; and
  • be a first-time youth participant in a placement of the Career Focus Program of the Youth Employment Strategy. 
  • Read more about HarvestHand

Apply by March 25, 2015

Send resume and cover letter to admin@taprootfarms.ca

 



Would you be willing to participate in our Grocery Shopping List Application Pilot Project?

Posted on by Michael Caplan

A message from the Wolfville Farmers Market ...

I feel genuinely proud to be a part of the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. I feel like we have vision and that we are in the fortunate position of being able to manifest it. We are part of an awesome community that grows and creates awesome products that people love to appreciate. It is a great exchange.
 
As a Market we are, of course, always exploring ways to help sustainably grow our vendors’ businesses; we have noticed that many of our customers are joining us for the social aspects of the market and less so for shopping. We are delighted to have everyone with us .. .after all it is our vision to nourish the "health and vibrancy of our communities," but we would also like to capture more of our visitors’ grocery and gift shopping dollars. We sincerely believe that it helps our whole community when people purchase from those who are accountable to them in ways that builds trust, knowledge, skills.   
 
We acknowledge that it can be difficult to shop at the Market. There are so many people to see and there is so much to take in. So what do we do about that? How can we help those who care about purchasing local and those who share our values - and who regularly come to the Market - to do more of their shopping at the Market?  
 
In the past we have explored incentives, marketing ideas, social media, videos about our vendors, special events to highlight and feature vendor products.   Now we are trying something different; and we would like to work with a few customers to help us see if we are on the right track.
 
The Wolfville Farmers’ Market has been working with HarvestHand to develop a Shopping List Application (app) for smart phones that can give our customers real-time information about what is fresh at the Market. This app will list what is available fresh at the Market, provide information about those products, and enable the creation a shopping list for the trip to the Market.   It is the first step in a potentially larger initiative which could make it possible for customers to pre-order (or maybe even pre-purchase) and have everything ready for them in a Market Box at the end of the day. Who knows, someone might even want to create a business to work with us to create a delivery service?
 
In the short term, we have a mobile application that allows customers to see what is available and create a shopping list. We have 35 vendors signed up with all their products loaded. But before we share this with the wider public, we would like to pilot this application with 20 people who would like to help us make it the best it can be.  
 

The Ask

Here is what we are looking for from those participating in the pilot:
 
  1. SIGN UP: You will be asked to sign up to participate in the pilot project by filling in a profile questionnaire that helps us understand a bit about you and your perspective.
  2. GIVE REGULAR FEEDBACK: That you commit to giving ongoing feedback, ideally at least once a week, to let us know what is working well for you and what needs improvement.   This can be general comments or specific logistical issues.   We hope that you will appreciate that this application is in development, so all your feedback can make a difference. Of course there will be glitches that we are excited to fix and ideas that we are hoping to explore now and into the future.   
  3. FOCUS GROUP:   That you are able and interested in participating in a focus group or interview at the end of the pilot period.
 

Goodies

We are really grateful to have you join us in exploring this very exciting project, which we anticipate will have a significant impact in encouraging shopping.   For those of you who join us in developing this new program, we will offer you $20 Market Dollars, a Market Bag, a Market Fridge Magnet, and a summary of our findings.
 
 

I Am In!  Next Steps...

 
Please fill in the form and we will get back to you within two days to confirm that we have your info and then on July 3rd we will email you a link to the shopping list app, and a feedback link; so that you can begin exploring and using it on July 3rd. 



Request for a Proposal

Posted on by Michael Caplan

HarvestHand New Media Communities is a new partnership. Our vision is to create solutions that strengthen regional food systems. We are looking to revamp our website. We want to create a long term relationship with a web designer to address our immediate design needs and to evolve our HarvestHand website and web presence together over the next few years.
 
What we are looking to accomplish:
  • rewrite/refresh the text
  • reorder the flow of the information into appropriate pages
  • introduce new graphics/images/videos
  • possibly embed Facebook and twitter feed and calendar functions
  • possibly have a searchable database
  • create an attractive, easy to use, vibrant, positive and inviting space where people want to linger. Also create a space where people get relevant useful information that is helpful in choosing to use the CSA Platform and/or connecting to the 'HH food community'
 
You are invited to submit an application to work with us at HarvestHand. 
Please include, for our consideration the following:
  • samples of your work
  • explanation of your experience or educational qualifications
  • explanation of your preferred method of working with clients
  • brief outline or example of ideas you have for our site based on what already exists (harvesthand.com) and what we have explained.
  • a quote for our consideration with an expression of whether an exchange of services/goods would be of interest to you for exploration. 
 
Please submit to team at harvesthand dot com by October 20, 2013. If you have any questions please email the team address.
 
Many thanks!
 
Mike Caplan, Duncan Ebata and Patricia Bishop.
 
 


We Won: AVCC Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award

Posted on by Michael Caplan

We are very excited to announce that HarvestHand was chosen as the winner of the first annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award.  The Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce created the award as a way to recognize and support the innovative spirit of the agriculture and agri-food sector in the Valley,

Even though the HarvestHand CSA software product has been under development for the past four year, this happened to be our first major undertaking as a new partnership - Duncan, Patricia and Michael.  The award helped us gel our vision for the company, and really solidified us as a work group. Winning is huge for us, but the process was incredibly valuable too.

Practically speaking, the package offered by this award offers tremendous resources to help us in the early phase of our business.  Incorporation, maturing our business plan, accessing support on business development in general, and capital to allow us to hire our first employee are all items that this award will help us achieve in short order.  We have big hopes to go after the Atlantic Canadian and Eastern USA CSA markets this year -- hopes that are that much more realistic with the resources offered by this award.

This is also a wonderful community event.  Even though we can't speak for the other participants, it really felt like we and the other applicants were hitting a significant milestone in the evolution of our various products and businesses by participating in, and being recognized by, this award.