Monday, August 6, 2012

Make a Stand - A Farm Stand

July was such an exciting month. Not only did we finally get to reap the fruits and veggies of our labor, but we got to share it with others, too!
Fresh veggies for sale
On Saturday, July 14, we set up our first farm stand. We did not know who would come, if anyone. But that morning, we got up really early. They say that harvesting in the morning cool helps keep the vegetables crisp for longer.  We carefully harvested and washed our first summer squash, chard, peppers, and cucumbers. Then we set up shop. Neighbors showed up from all over for fresh-picked, organically grown veggies.

Patriotic Sweet Red Baby Bell Peppers
Since then, we have done seven farm stands! Every Saturday morning, and now Wednesday afternoon, we meet even more new folks. The best moments are 1) when people showed up again for more summer squash and Rainbow Swiss Chard and 2) when customers exchange delicious recipes with each other.  That's what we do it for!

Our fun farm events didn't end there. We set up a farm stand at the Market Street Art Center 10th Anniversary Party. Turns out that art goes great with organic vegetables! We also hosted an evening tour for the Kenan Herb Club. It was fun to talk herbs and hops with everyone. A few days later, the house was a stop on Lockport's Historic Trolley Tour during Old Home Week. We had a blast donning vintage hats and talking about the home's long family history.

Stand and new sign at the Market Street Art Center
Our week of culture was topped off with a charity yoga session - on the lawn! On a cool, overcast Saturday morning, we welcomed almost 30 Igoe2Yoga studio clients as they did a yoga session on the McCollum Orchards lawn. It was a perfect morning for outdoor yoga. Best yet, they raised $190 for Lockport Cares, a local emergency homeless shelter.  We are hoping to make it an annual event.

Zucchini and Sunflowers
Like most projects around the farm, the farm stand is homemade. We tried to make it bright and "homey." We built a sawhorse table and covered it with red-white-blue cloth.  We display the veggies in various round bushel and peck baskets, and square quart baskets. The baskets came from our generous NOFA-NY Journeyperson farm mentors, Promised Land CSA, from their old farm stand. We lined some baskets with cloth, too, which makes the bright green and yellow squash pop.
Homegrown and Homemade - the best combo!

We also made a sandwich board sign to put out on the street for better visibility. Admittedly, we are starting out small. But, this garden has big plans. Welcoming tours and groups has helped us spread the word. We, along with our customers, can't wait for all those tomatoes and peppers to ripen soon! And then pumpkins in the fall! 

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