Our farm stands are at the heart of our food access work, connecting New American farmers, youth growers, and the community at large with fresh, locally-grown vegetables. Farm stands are situated where people live, work, shop, and learn—especially residents with lower incomes. They are timed to accommodate a variety of schedules, and accept SNAP and WIC benefits for payment. Thanks to a partnership between Wholesome Wave, Maine Farmland Trust, and the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives program, we also provide up to 50% discount to SNAP and WIC recipients at our farm stands, helping to make our vegetables more affordable while still providing a living wage to the farmers who produced them.
Some of our farm stands are stationary and some are mobile:
Stationary: Each farm stand features one or two Fresh Start Farms growers who receive marketing support from Cultivating Community staff on site. These growers benefit from an expanded customer base and opportunities to practice setting up displays, making change, keeping records, and using English. They also provide an important outreach link to immigrant and refugee communities who appreciate the familiarity of language and ethnic crops, and who may benefit from our SNAP and WIC incentive program.
Mobile: Each farm stand arrives by tricycle! Our tricycle-powered mobile farm stand, called the Grow Cart, travels throughout Portland to pre-designated sites on a weekly basis. The Grow Cart was designed and constructed by Maine College of Art graduates Hannah Merchant and Steve Anderson. It folds in for transport and unfolds at each stop to reveal hand-made boxes of fresh produce!
Everyone is welcome at our farm stands. We accept cash, credit/debit, EBT food stamps, and WIC benefits. We select farm stand locations intentionally, and do our best to establish sites with a lot of foot traffic and that coincide with a weekly community service or event. We very much welcome community input in the process. Would you like to see a farm stand at your site? Email Stephanie to suggest locations and discuss collaboration!
Our 2015 Farm Stands have ended for the season. Please check back for 2016 locations!