Monday, 22 August 2011

QR codes for footpaths

I am intrigued by Quick Response or QR codes that appear everywhere – on food packaging, in magazines, on TV shows – and amazed that simply scanning one of these little squares with a smartphone can link me to a webpage, business card or tell me what I am looking at.

We try to let people know what’s happening on the farm using this blog and Open Farm Sunday. We’ve also tried putting up a board with a map of the farm and a little information about the crops but the last one was ripped down and so we’ve rather given up on that. I’m sure the board made a very good roof for their den, but that wasn’t really the use we had in mind. But maybe a small QR code on a post or discreetly attached below a footpath waymarker could be a good idea.

Our footpaths are well used by a regular band of dog walkers who often ask what’s happening in the field so our first QR code links to a farm diary for the field, which will explain what crop is growing and what operations are being carried out. We’ve put it on a pole where the hard surface of the bridleway runs out, which is the point where many people who wander out of Great Notley Country Park stop and turn back. So maybe instead of a diary page we should work out a short circular walk to encourage people to step off the hard surface and explore the footpaths further. Or should I tell you where the best blackberries grow? Or why the grass strips around the fields aren't footpaths unless they're marked? 

What do you think? If you zapped a QR code as you were walking through the farm, what would you like it to show you?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Nicole Starr said...

Can't wait to hear the response you get from this! That's so kind that you open your doors to consumers to learn more about agriculture. Hands on experience is key! I'd love to learn more about Open Farm Sundays?? Is there a special feature each week? How many people usually attend? said...

It's a great idea - just wonder how many people (at the moment) know what they are?? Supposedly you could update the codes easily and appropriately to the seasons?