Spring 2020 Update from Meg Mercier
Visitors and community members can expect to see a flurry of activity at the Farm Park this summer and fall. Though much of the world is slowing down, many of our projects are just getting started.
You’ve probably noticed our latest addition–a decorative fence along Highway 17. Rest assured, the Park still welcomes the public! This fence is purely to protect our farmers’ crops from hungry deer, who have made a feast of our produce in recent years. To help us curb wildlife’s effect on the land, make good use of the gates and close them every time you pass through on the trails. We are ensuring the gates at our driveway along the road are open in the morning and closed in the evening.
Up next are the beginning phases of construction on an environmental education center and restroom building. The center will be an incredible space available for year-round rental for field trips and other events. Nearby will be a restroom building. Attached to the outside of it will be an open-air pavilion complete with a produce wash station so our farmers can more easily wash what they’ve grown. The construction of these buildings will bring the first electricity lines into the Park, as well! Up until now, we have relied on generators to power lights and other electronics for events. We intend to place solar panels on the roof of the environmental education center so we can feed renewable energy back into the local power grid.
Our commercial farmers will have the opportunity to sell what they’ve grown at the new on-site farm stand. This structure, built by ProSheds, will be a store-like space that will be open five days a week for the community to buy produce grown right at the Farm Park. The interior will be built out by members of the Farmers Cooperative, designed to their specific needs.
In the Fall, we are planning on beginning construction of our greenhouse. We’ve put so much time and effort into the fundraising campaign for this structure, and are thrilled to be so close to the finish line. This greenhouse will be a place where things can grow year-round. We are strongly considering using an aquaponics system to grow nourishing, leafy greens to sell through the Valley Roots Food Hub to local markets.
The amount of activity that will go on at the Park this year is sure to make it our busiest season yet. While group gatherings are cancelled until late summer, we are still seeking folks who may want to adopt a volunteer project to do on their own time, either as an individual, or as a family.