Farmstands are complete, installed, AWESOME

May 21st, 2012

Last Thursday and Friday, we loaded the finished farmstands onto a trailer and delivered them to their final destination: the boys’ team’s “magic carpet” farmstand to downtown Lewiston, and the girls’ team’s “modular box” farmstand to Mr. Wallace Jones’ property on Highway 308. The two were designed 100% by students to be both aesthetically interesting and structurally sound, prefabricated and within the width and height requirements of a standard trailer (less than 96″ wide).

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BOYS TEAM: “Team Genie”

We delivered the boys’ farmstand on Thursday, thanks to the partnership of the Mayor of Lewiston, who gave us a prime location on the lawn in front of the Lewiston-Woodville fire department building. We chose Lewiston because of its location in the center of the county and also because it is the home of Mr. Newkirk and family, who have been die-hard vendors and supporters of the Windsor farmers market we built last year. He sells produce and plants almost every day, and now with a farmstand in his hometown, he doesn’t have to go far. He has also done an amazing job promoting the ideals of local food and community, so we hope that this location in Lewiston will further the mission of the farmers market and connect the entire county with his help.

The boys’ farmstand was constructed on a bay-system, using ribs fabricated from lengths of wood cut with a jig-saw. They were bolted together in two layers for additional strength, then connected with spans of steel. The “elephant” shape was actually inspired by the motion of a magic carpet, as it flies out over the front of the structure, providing shade over visitors standing at the counter. The boys did a wonderful job cutting siding pieces as well, creating a randomized green/gray facade.

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We went up to take some pictures on Saturday, and Mr. Newkirk and three of his grandchildren were using the stand, and greeted us by yelling “God bless you!” across the lawn. We are so proud of the boys team for building and installing this structure which we know will be used by the Lewiston community for years to come. And a huge thanks to Mr. Newkirk for his partnership and enthusiasm.
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GIRLS TEAM: “Team Quad-X”

The girls’ farmstand was designed to be constructed from simple modules. Each box module could be built in a time-efficient manner using simple tools, and together, they were laid out to form the two side walls of the farmstand. The back was a plain wall which the team chose to adorn (against the initial opposition of their instructors) with splatter paint. The roof was constructed using corrugated metal over 16″-spaced joists.

When we arrived on site, Mr. Wallace Jones, a farmer who usually sells his greens elsewhere but is “getting too old to go so far to make a living,” greeted us. He had seen the farmstand design before and was all smiles when it arrived on his property. Over the course of the next few hours, many people stopped by to ask what it was, and his cell phone rang off the hook as neighbors called asking “what’s that crazy thing on your property?!” It was this kind of attention we hoped to bring, not for mere spectacle, but to improve Mr. Jones’ chances of selling his greens and making a more steady income.

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We set the farmstand down on some risers and used the same tie-downs used for mobile homes to ensure its stability on the site. The central counter piece (also constructed from the box modules) sits in the center of the farmstand, for storage and counter space. The roof was assembled on site, as was the “GREENS” sign which was attached to the outside of three of the boxes facing the more highly trafficked direction of the highway.

When we were done, Mr. Jones thanked us profusely and gave us more cabbage than we knew what to do with as a gift. While the location of this farmstand is not necessarily “public,” it was an ideal scenario that will ensure its use and accessibility by an older farmer who we know will benefit (economically and physically) from its presence on his property. Thanks, Mr. Jones for being an awesome client! And congrats to the girls’ team for their thoughtful work and commitment to building such a wonderful, wacky, and functional farmstand.

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About

Studio H is a public high school "design/build" curriculum that sparks rural community development through real-world, creative projects. By learning through a design sensibility, applied core subjects, and "dirt-under-your-fingernails" construction skills, students develop the creative capital, critical thinking, and citizenship necessary for their own success and for the future of their communities.

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