People are asking, “what’s that yellow-and-white truck that keeps parking off LaVista Road on Wednesday afternoons?” It’s the Farm Mobile, Riverview Farms’ market on wheels. Parked at on Wednesdays between 4:30 and 6:30, the truck stocks locally grown, organic produce, meat (mostly grassfed beef and Berkshire pork, with a few surprises thrown in on occasion), dairy, eggs, grains, and bread.
Tucker marks the first venture outside the perimeter for the Farm Mobile. When I asked her why Tucker was chosen for the honors, Charlotte Swancey, a member of the two-generation family that owns and works the farm, told me, “We have had a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture – read more about it here] pickup in Tucker for years. The Farm Mobile came about because of the need to get good food to people.”
“The Farm Mobile makes it convenient, and we have everything on board the truck. The beef, pork, and most veggies are from our farm and certified organic,” she said.
While it looks too small to hold much from the outside, those who venture inside the Farm Mobile will find shelves on either side holding a variety of seasonal produce, organic grains (think grits, cornmeal, and polenta), and breads from H&F Bread Company. Further down is a full-sized chest freezer holding all the meat offerings with a chalkboard hung above it to map out the contents. Helpful staff are also on board to navigate the freezer and make recommendations. Across from the freezer is the refrigerator with cheese and eggs. The eggs are exclusively “GrEGGS,” a 14-year-old entrepreneur in Ranger, Georgia, who pasture raises the chickens with his self-invented hen house on wheels, allowing the chickens access to fresh grass and insects each day. The cheese is from local artisans such as Sequatchie Cove Farm.
St. Andrews has been a pickup location for Riverview Farms’ CSA for years. By becoming members, locals can pickup a box of the farm’s produce weekly for a set fee (currently $27.50 a box. Last week’s box contained two large heads of romaine lettuce, collard greens, bok choy, garlic scapes, radishes, arugula, several large onions, and cornmeal, but the selection will change weekly). Riverview Farms also has a meat CSA available in six-month subscriptions.
But, as Swancy says, “a CSA is not for everyone and getting to a farmer's market is not always easy on a Saturday morning.” So, for those who aren’t able or who don’t want to join the CSA, the Farm Mobile provides the opportunity to have that produce available in smaller or more selective quantities and products. Members can supplement their boxes with items from the Farm Mobile if they so desire (last week, in addition to most of what was included in the box, the Farm Mobile had carrots, squash, broccoli, chard, and turnips available, in addition to the meats, dairy, and bread). All are welcome to browse and shop at the Farm Mobile, regardless of CSA membership status. Enter using the steps at the back, make your way through, and pay at the cash register on your way out the front door. Cash and checks are accepted, and please bring your own bag to carry your items home.
“We like to see the community come together around our farm and good food. The Farm Mobile is a great way to connect the farm to the people,” Swancy said.
For more information about Riverview Farms, their CSA program, and the Farm Mobile, visit their web site.