Kucek Family Farms produce stand is now ready for work. This is one special produce stand for so many reasons, but lets stick with the three most important reasons.
- I made it from scratch
- I made it!!
- A lesson for my daughter
Now when I say I made this from scratch, I mean literally. I ran around everywhere looking for pieces to use on this cart. I started off with only two things. First I found this big rectangular metal frame (the yellow one you see in the pictures), and two antique wheels laying near a pile of scrap metal. My guess is these wheels belonged to a long retired piece of plowing equipment, long retired. These wheels inspired me and I was off and running, sort of. You see, the problem with building from scraps is you have to find all the scraps and fit them together as best as possible, as opposed to simply buying what you need and cutting it to size. Also, while building this cart I used several of my long retired skills, one being welding.
Back in the day I was one of the best welders in my class. I had one of the smoothest, and tightest welds. My lines looked like they belonged there….Fast forward 20 years (yikes) and my welds…..They are horrible. I was a bit rusty to say the least. But hey, the cart is staying together and hopefully no welding inspectors will come near it, just my brother and he was more forgiving than I had imagined.
As mentioned, I started with very little and had to make it work, meaning, I had to connect the wheels to the metal frame. Once my brother helped me get over this hurdle, I was off and runny, again. I am extremely proud to say that every single thing attached to this cart was at one time part of something else. The wood came from old buildings on the property, the metal came from out metal scrap pile, the nuts and bolts are also being reused or where already available for use, and the tin roof was also given a second or third life. Every single piece of this came from the farm. It is all being reused. So not only does it look very cool, it also carries a lot of value, and gives life to materials that would not have otherwise been used.
I made this folks, with my own two hands. I am pretty darn proud of it for several reasons. First, it’s still standing, second, I finished something, and third, it provides yet another outlet for us as a farm to reach out to our community. Here are some reference pictures on how this construction went down:
Attach wheels to metal frame
Attach a wood frame using lots of screws and bolts
Build on that frame adding walls and a weather proof roof…
Add some fine tuning and a cute little girl to it and voila!
It still needs some fine tuning, signage, that sort of thing and some organization, but it is off and running. We have already received a lot of positive comments on it and we have also added a community book lending library to it. This little cart can sure hold a lot!.
The third reason for this cart was a big one for us and a true motivator to finish it. I really wanted my 4 year old to understand the full cycle of farm life. We started teaching her about plants where she planted her own sunflower seeds, then transferred them to the ground, helped them grow, then snipped them off (the ones she could reach) and into the vases they went for sale. I am not sure you can see just how excited she was in the picture above? She sat out in front of that cart the first day for 4 hours! She sold 2 glasses of lemonade and that was it. No success in selling all our veggies the first day, because that is just not realistic. I had to explain that just because you have something to sell does not mean people want to buy it. You have to do what ever it takes if you really want to sell something. She and our 2 year old ran around waving flags. It brought a lot of smiles to people passing by, but not much else. I told her sometimes that is all you can ask for, a few smiles. Truly a good lesson on how difficult it can be to earn a living, or sell sunflowers. I was one proud mamma that day, because she stuck with it for 4 hours! and when we did have someone come for lemonade, without any prompt from me she started a sales pitch for her flowers. Wow, I was extremely impressed.
So as you can see this journey is not over yet. Signage will be added to the cart and it constantly has to be kept up with fresh flowers and produce. Not an easy task. I have decided to keep the fresh produce inside on extreme temp days..99 plus degrees.
If you want to come and contribute to this beautiful cycle please feel free to stop by. It is located right off the 99 at 204 Cherry in Gridley. If you are lucky we just may have some fresh lemonade or water outside for you.
One Proud Mamma!!