This March, High Rocks Grow Appalachia was approached by the Gezundheit! Institute about ways to improve the local food scene in Hillsboro. Gezundheit! gets groups of college volunteers during Spring and Summer break, and this year they wanted to focus their efforts on the local food system. Within days college students, AmeriCorps members, gardeners and other interested community members were all crowded into the Pretty Penny Cafe planning the next step to take. It felt a little silly making lofty goals about how to transform our local food economy as the snow swirled and drifted outside the fogged up windows.
Impressively, within a week (during which the Spring weather fortunately cooperated) the industrious Gezundheit! volunteers had built the framework of a farm stand. The stand was ready to be put into action in time for Hillsboro’s Wild Edibles Festival in April. We had decided on a farm stand because of the small scale and the flexibility that it offers. The interior of the stand offers enough space for two people to stand, but it also includes piggy bank style money slots so that produce can be left at the stand with customers paying on the honor system.
Although we manage the farm stand, it is open to all organic growers in the community. We’re still working and experimenting with logistical issues such as when the best time is to open the stand, how to get the word out, and how to make it easy and accessible for growers to use. We’ll keep you all updated on what is working as production begins to increase in the coming months (and more photos of the construction of the stand!)