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Harvest Planner Screenshot

Harvest Planner
by John Beeby

From my experience as an intern and staff person at Ecology Action from 1992 to 1996, I came away with many new ideas, skills and goals. One of these goals was to find a way to make it easier for people to create and grow nutritionally complete and sustainable diets. After many years of development, and the generous support of family and friends and especially the REAP Foundation, facilitated by Ecology Action, Harvest Planner has been born.

Harvest Planner is a free online application that helps design nutritionally complete diets for a family. Depending on the characteristics of each family member, such as their age, sex, activity level and pregnancy/lactation status, and the average amount each member eats, Harvest Planner determines if there are any nutrients that are deficient or in excess in each of their diets. Once this is determined, foods can be added or removed, or the quantities each person consumes can be changed in order to be able to create morebalanced and nutritionally complete diets. Harvest Planner can even recommend foods that are rich in a deficient nutrient, and those can be added to improve the nutritional content of the family's diet. In order to make Harvest Planner as available as possible to people, the first version is free to everyone and available online, so that anyone can log in (whether at their home, a school or a nearby agricultural center), evaluate their diets and learn how to improve them. In addition, Harvest Planner is designed to be as simple and as fun to use as possible. This first version of Harvest Planner is available in English, Spanish, and Russian, and soon French, Kiswahili, Hindi, Arabic and other languages will follow.

Creating a diet plan is the first step, but the next step will be to create a plan to grow that diet! In that stage of development, Harvest Planner will be able to convert the nutritionally complete diet that has been planned into a garden plan. This garden plan will be customized to the person's available space and growing seasons, and will be able to handle complexities such as successive cropping, intercropping, and multipleseason growing. It will also include growing crops that may be sold or used for compost, or multi-purpose crops like wheat that can generate both compost and food. Once the garden plan is completed, it will serve as a road map for the next season, describing how much seed is needed for each crop, when to sow, transplant and harvest each crop, and how much space is needed. In addition, it will be able to estimate whether or not enough compost crops are being grown to maintain or improve the soil's organic matter content, and it can estimate the amount of income that can be generated from crops destined for sale.

To access Harvest Planner, go to: If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, send them to: Also check us out on Facebook ( Planner/145449652199238).

Note: With Ecology Action acting as Fiscal Sponsor for this important and worthwhile program that will be available
at no cost to low-income people globally, grants from the REAP Foundation combined with volunteer labor from
many individuals have made Harvest Planner described above possible. For the next phase of Harvest Planner to
occur, $25,000 is needed, which is not tax-deductible. All of this will go directly to programmers. For more information contact: John Beeby,

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