By Kidest Waihsun
As we approach the halfway mark of our farm stand season, it is safe to say that we are seeing improvements week after week regarding our turnout! Our farm stand team has been successfully adapting to new conditions while keeping an enthusiastic attitude throughout the process. From cherries and cabbage to corn and carrots, our wide selection of produce is what reels in people to our stand on a weekly basis. While this is now our second year operating during a pandemic, the need for accessible, healthy, and affordable food is one that still remains prominent in the Rainier Beach community. Providing the produce for free (again!) has allowed us to combat food insecurity, even more, one veggie at a time.
The main challenge we foresaw for this year’s farm stand was attracting people to our new location, a building that had otherwise been vacant for years. Between social media marketing and neighborhood outreach, we are working through various means of communication in hopes of directing last year’s visitors to our new property. While we thankfully have seen some familiar faces, this building has also connected us to a new group of patrons—light rail riders. Located directly in front of where we operate, the Rainier Beach Light Rail station not only brings its riders from point A to point B, but it also brings them to our stand. This is convenient for both us and the visitors who may rely on public transportation. While RBAC has already started utilizing this property for various program activities, it will eventually be the interim space (and future forever home!) of the Food Innovation Center. There are many plans for the Food Innovation Center, including but not limited to: affordable housing, food education, and production, community kitchens, and other community resources which will fuel economic development in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.
Now that you’ve heard about this new location, we’d like to invite you to come on down and see it for yourself! This Saturday, July 31st, we will be hosting our first celebration of the season. Along with commemorating the hard work that the farm stand team has put in so far, there will be tours of the new two-story property, dance performances from different local groups, a henna artist, a smoothie bike, poetry readings, delicious food, and much more. Last but not least, we will be distributing fresh, organic produce for free– as usual! We would also like to recognize and give a huge shout-out to the local POC farmers who grow their produce and allow us to do the work that we do, none of this would be possible without them!
On behalf of the farm stand, we hope to see you all on Saturday, July 31st at 9059 MLK Jr. Way S. Seattle, WA 98118 from 10am-2pm!