Farm Stand season is getting close and the team is hard at work figuring out how to operate this year. Will it be free distribution like last year? Should we get our own cold storage? Do we need to hire a new Farm Stand Manager? What’s the best location for the Farm Stand?
Thankfully, we have now an experienced crew and they proved last season how quickly we can adapt to new situations. As it stands, we are not looking to sell our farm partners’ fresh produce, but will again be offering fruits and vegetables free of charge, because we know the need is still great and many residents face food insecurity. Plus, the ongoing uncertainty has meant that we couldn’t apply ahead for all the necessary permits.
It’s also been difficult to recruit a new key team member to oversee operations and we may very well rely on the incredible resourcefulness of our young workers once again to get things done. After all, they’ve been trained in all areas of the operations and it’s important to provide opportunities for them to grow and rise to new challenges. That’s all part of the invaluable experience they are building at RBAC.
Nevertheless, some logistical issues remain. Despite owning a perfect venue right across from the Rainier Beach light rail station, the required improvement works planned are taking much longer than anticipated and won’t be ready in time for the beginning of the season. We can easily rent a repurposed container as cold storage, also known as a “coolbot”, but in order to set up on the plaza, it would still mean multiple back and forth trips to bring over equipment and produce. This is no small feat when you distribute close to 400Lbs of fruits and veggies every week: the equivalent of 3 loads in a small SUV, including trunk, back seats, and front seat, floor to roof!
This may mean that we wind up operating from our site along MLK, which wouldn’t be so bad, since this is where it would be held more permanently once the Food Innovation Center is built!
So, stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted. Just make sure to sign up for our e-Newsletter and follow us on Instagram. See you soon!