Our last Veggie Stand has been our most successful one yet! We had approximately 69 attendees, and almost all of our produce sold out in spite of the large amounts that we had available. It must have been because of the better weather– the only rain that we experienced that day was thankfully right after we finished putting everything away.
Casey and I have been improving in our car Tetris skills– now that we’ve had a bit of prior experience, we’ve become more efficient in loading the van with produce from the Urban Farm. Not only did we not need a second van or a third set of hands to help us with everything as I had initially thought, but we were also able to weigh all of our produce right before loading the van instead of during our Wednesday harvest, giving us more recent, accurate numbers.
Setup of the stand itself was once again a bit of a blur, with everyone situating tents, weighing community garden donations, and setting produce on the tables. As we were readying the stand, a small line began to form, something that we had learned to expect in the previous weeks, although there was a higher spike in customers in the first hour this past week than there was in pervious weeks.
This week, along with our now-typical spread of squash, collard greens, kale, and various lettuces, we had small red potatoes, red and yellow onions, and the first peppers and eggplants of the season. It was these new vegetables that were the most popular, and they all promptly sold out. And once again, we received donations from the LaFarm community gardeners, Lynn Street, and Safe Harbor, which included squash, kale, and Swiss chard, other vegetables that also sold well this week.
One of my favorite aspects of the evening was the conversations that I had with two customers that ended with me writing down a few of their recipes. What I think I enjoy most about the stand is the sharing of cooking tips between and among the customers and the vendors. It’s especially encouraging when this knowledge is exchanged in the form of recipes. What I hope to see in the weeks to come is more customers sharing recipes with us, which we can print out to share with the stand at large, so that we are providing the Veggie Stand community with recipes that at least some of its members enjoy and would recommend to others.
The only obstacle that we encountered that day was an approaching thunderstorm, which caused us to close the stand a little earlier than expected– none of the weather apps that we were using had predicted it. We hurriedly began to pack up everything, with everyone becoming more nervous as the thunder became louder. Thankfully, everything was finished in time, and Casey, Andie, and I practically threw ourselves into our vans before it started downpouring. We left feeling satisfied that we had not only narrowly avoided the rain but that we had also provided produce to our largest number of visitors yet.
At our next stand, we’ll have more peppers, carrots, and cucumbers, along with the first of the tomatoes!