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Professor Elena Barthel and Students Team with Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Jones Valley Teaching Farm prototypical farm stand

Last spring the Rural Studio collaborated with the Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham to develop two prototypical farm stands for selling and processing vegetables. Both models were designed and built by the Rural Studio staff as evolutions of a prototype designed in 2011 for the local Greensboro Farmers’ Market. 

Rural Studio’s third-year students began to design and build the Rural Studio Farm: a multi-year project focused on the redesign of the Studio’s Campus and an opportunity to experiment with the production of food, energy, and building material.  [insert link to RS Farm Story] One year later, the collaboration with Jones Valley Teaching Farm gave the Rural Studio the opportunity to extend itsdesign research with two more prototypical stands to be installed in Birmingham and easily replicated in other local farms and farmers market.

The stands are designed to be easily delivered by an eight-foot wide flatbed truck, a transport resource very common in rural areas and accessible to local organizations. Once the stand is delivered, a tractor is enough to move it around the site. The stands have no permanent foundation and are designed to be transported, moved and easily adjusted according to site conditions, seasons, and functions.  Because the markets generally only operate in the summer and early fall months, the Rural Studio prototypes can be left on site even when the market is closed, becoming a constant presence in town all year long and providing municipalities with a more permanent infrastructure that entices more growers to participate in local markets, providing stability to the market andencouraging better community health.

After the Jones Valley farm experience, the Rural Studio isnow looking at ways to marketthe prototype stands and turn them into a product line, followed by design and construction ofa stand to support farmer’s market food demonstrations.