Posted by Amber Middleton in August 2020
UPDATE: Farm Stand is open during the summer months; we closed in early October and plan to reopen next summer.
Monday, August 3rd was the “soft-opening” of the new farm stand at the Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP). The RGFP farmer’s cooperative, comprised of 7 farmers with budding businesses who rent plots on-site to grow market produce, is now selling products three days a week to customers. This farm stand was made possible by a generous donation from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
Located just north of the junction of Highways 160 and 17 on Highway 17, visitors will see feather signs when the stand is open–every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3 to 7 PM. It is possible that, as the season goes on, the stand may be open additional hours if there is enough community interest.
So far products like onions, beets, snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, peaches, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, pinon, and honey have been available. Available products will change as the season progresses. Follow the Farm Park’s Facebook or Instagram pages for photo updates of what is available each day. Facebook users can find them at facebook.com/riograndefarmpark and they are @riograndefarmpark on Instagram.
The stand is set up for one-way, socially-distanced walking traffic. For safety, those working the stand will be enforcing distancing and the wearing of masks. Additionally, we are asking that customers not touch any of the products. One of two staff members working the stand will handle and bag products for customers and a second worker will take customers’ payment. At this time we are only able to accept cash.
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For more information, please contact 719-580-0379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gratitude & Reflection
By Ag & Ed Coordinator, Erin Kauffman
September 16, 2020
It has been an exciting process over the past 7 weeks to open the Rio Grande Farm Park’s brand new, on-site Farm Stand. I started at the RGFP as a long-term volunteer through Mennonite Voluntary Service in July, and managing the farm stand became my first big project. It wasn’t simple to open a Farm Stand in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we followed the lead of the Colorado Farmers Market Association and our very own Alamosa Farmers Market to set up our operations safely.
Working with the Farm Stand has shown me what a capable and supportive community we have here in the San Luis Valley. Due to the hard work and generosity of many, we had a very successful opening year! Our Rio Grande Farm Park farmers sold over $3,500 of produce, from peas and green beans early on to zucchini and beets as we wrapped up the season.
A huge thank you to all the people who made this year a success:
- The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority for funding our farm stand shed
- The USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program
- The USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant
- Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger Grant
- Infinite CROWma for the beautiful signs
- Our enthusiastic volunteers, Denise and Gloria VandeWalle
- Our farmers and their families for providing delicious, fresh produce every week and sharing about their produce with our customers. Congratulations on a bountiful harvest!
- Our community, for your excitement in spreading the word about the farm stand, for following COVID-19 guidelines to keep us safe, and for supporting our local farmers
Come see us for our last day on Thursday, September 17 from 3-7pm, and then keep supporting our local SLV and RGFP farmers at the Alamosa Farmers Market on Saturdays through October 10th and through the Valley Roots Food Hub all winter long. We look forward to seeing you at the Farm Stand again next year!
Erin, Ag and Ed Coordinator