Farm Report: The Community Space

I chose to evaluate the community space. Our Table reminded me of a farm where I am from called Avila Valley Barn. I would go there with my family and friends in the spring, summer, and fall because there was always something fresh to eat and fun to do. It is regarded as a special community place and I can see so much potential in Our Table to be a place like that, but it needs work. The entrance to the farm is lack luster and the market space is friendly but too sterile. But the most pressing problem I saw was the community event space. My first impression of the space is that it was unfinished. I’m not sure if it is because it is the wrong season or if it was designed to be the way it is, but there is a serious lack of character and liveliness. It is a defined space, about forty feet wide by one- hundred feet long. It has six tall wooden poles which are about fifteen feet tall with string lights hanging around the perimeter and also crisscrossing between the middle posts. In my opinion, it is not a very functional space. The fact that there is not a roof or covering takes away from the space’s usability. It leaves it vulnerable to the rain and wind for a majority of the year. Another thing I noticed is that there is no easy and direct way to get from the market to the event space, which is a big problem for families with children or elderly. To go from the market to the space I had to get a bit of a running start in some areas to make it up the slope, so if that was the case for me then I can imagine a child would have an even harder time. There is a large soggy pile of straw bales in the middle of the space, which was probably leftover from the fall season, but it adds to the unkempt look of it. Likewise, its not very level. They had noted that they have ground rodent problems, so that probably is the reason why, but it makes the

space even more unusable. Other than that, there isn’t much more to the space. Its location is set back a ways, so it has excellent potential to become a great community event space. It could be a rental space for weddings or family reunions, or a place to host community potlucks. I can imagine it even being a wonderful space for a holiday market in the fall and winter. Making the space season-proof would increase it’s usability and functionality.

Alani Rinkenberger

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