Nurturing Community, Fresh Produce, and Cold Storage
At My Foodshed, every day is filled with moments that bring together producers, communities, and fresh, local produce. This blog post captures some of those moments, showcasing the heart and dedication behind our rural-focused food hub.
Katie Johnson: A Pioneer Serving a Community
Meet Katie Johnson, the pioneer and owner of a rural grocery store on the far eastern edge of the Colorado plains. Her store serves a community of around 233 folks, and she plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between local producers and consumers. Katie’s store receives bi-weekly deliveries from our partnered producers within the food hub, as well as from the Arkansas Valley. Her commitment to providing fresh, locally sourced produce to her community is unwavering.
The Summers House: A Source of Fresh Lettuce
Last week’s delivery included some mouthwatering produce, with the star of the show being lettuce from The Summers House, located just outside Rocky Ford. This lettuce, grown by Natalie and Micah Summers, has quickly become a favorite among Katie’s customers. It’s a testament to the dedication of local producers like Natalie and Micah in delivering quality, fresh produce to their community.
Warehouse Transformation in Raton: Building for the Future
Our food hub is not just about connecting producers and consumers; it’s also about building the infrastructure needed to support this network. We recently had an incredible work weekend at our warehouse space in Raton. During this weekend, we witnessed some truly remarkable moments:
- John, our nonprofit executive director, rolled up his sleeves and got hands-on, helping with tasks like mounting the air conditioning unit for a cargo trailer. This trailer will soon be transformed into a 20-foot refrigerator, expanding our cold storage capacity to better serve rural schools in southeastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico.
- Wes, Chelsey Hilty’s husband, volunteered his time and skills to glue rigid foam board insulation to the warehouse’s interior walls.
- Darryl Birkenfeld showcased rural ingenuity, smoothly shifting posts to provide a conveyor-belt effect for moving the future cold storage into place, all without the need for a forklift.
- Chelsey and Chris Dyer, also volunteering, played a crucial role in mounting insulation panels.
- Megan England not only worked alongside us all, but also treated us to her mom’s delicious stew.
Our amazing team worked tirelessly and shared moments of laughter, multiple hardware store runs, potlucks, and even beautiful hikes during breaks. Special thanks to Brock Wittler for his carpentry skills in creating “pallet-citas” for the dolly.
Connecting Producers and Buyers
If you are a:
- Food Service Director of a Rural School or regional institution (e.g., hospital)
- Farmer or Rancher
- Retail Outlet (e.g., grocery, corner store, co-op)
We would love to connect with you. Whether you’re interested in providing products as a buyer or need assistance opening up market access as an agricultural producer, My Foodshed is here to support you.
As a producer, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
- Keeping 100% of the food production value (you set the price, and we don’t take a cut)
- Organized pickup, travel, and delivery, with us as your distributor
- Feeding communities within a 150-mile radius
As a retail outlet or regional school/institution, you’ll benefit from:
- Connecting with farmers and ranchers in your area
- Receiving marketing materials on your growers
- Centralizing a point of contact, instead of coordinating with several producers
- Providing your community with local products
For any questions or support, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
My Foodshed is built on these moments, where dedication, community, and fresh produce come together to create a thriving food system. Thank you for being part of our journey.