The OurTable community space was surprisingly bare and small. When I think of a community space I think of benches and tables and maybe a fire pit. I think of somewhere where people can sit comfortably to eat and talk with one another. The space was kind of spread out, including the space behind the grocery store, the lower patch (which was somewhat barren in the winter), and the space with the hay bales and christmas lights (which I believe was the “main” community space). The hay bales stood out to me; they might be for sitting on or for decoration (or maybe for something on the farm, though they’re a bit far from animals) but I thought they seemed a little bit out of place. They fit in with the farm, but they didn’t provide real seating or an actual community atmosphere, not to mention they probably rot in the rain eventually.
I think the space could benefit from some more wood benches or bleachers up at the main community area. Otherwise I thought the area was charming and relaxing. I could imagine people sitting around in the summer eating and playing instruments while the flowers grow in the flower patch. I would guess that the dimensions were about fifty by fifty feet total, but I’m terrible at estimating. Either way there’s plenty of space for to socialize and interact with each other, whether they’re sitting, eating, or walking around socializing. The grocery store has two back doors that anyone can go in and out of to get a snack or sit by the fireplace if it gets too cold. Overall the space felt homey and farm-like in a comforting way. It reminded me of my home in California– my mom has a huge garden and out front we have a picnic table where we eat dinner or just sit and chat while we look out over the valley. OurTable gave off that same friendly atmosphere that I get at home. The only thing it was missing was my actual parents (and maybe a cat). One thing worth noting was that the community space wasn’t really obviously a community space. I wouldn’t have known which part was the designated space unless someone pointed it out to me. It seemed to melt into the background a little bit, when the most relaxing part of the farm should be pushed forward and highlighted as one of the best parts when it’s so easy to enjoy. I also noticed that most of the other students (including me) gravitated towards the overhang by the grocery store, which makes me think that the community space should be focussed around that area rather than up on the hill where it’s somewhat disconnected.