Just Keep Planting

November 27, 2020

By this time last year, winter had affirmatively arrived. The ground had frozen solid and all of our winter crops were carefully packed away. Our storage units are nothing fancy or high tech—a cold room with an AC, a walk-in cooler with a fan, and a trailer with a space heater—but they maintained a safe 32°–50° range, which was all we asked. The outside cold, however, complicated winter share pickup preparations. With thousands of pounds of food to distribute, the job of pulling everything out of storage and onto the tables could easily take hours. Ideally, I would start a day or two ahead of time, but with overnight lows dipping into the low twenties—meaning that anything left on the tables overnight would freeze—this was out of the question. So, out of necessity, I would arrive at 5am on pickup days and hit the ground running. Setting up was a four-hour marathon that kept me warm, but it was nerve-wracking to think I wouldn’t finish on time. As with any big event, the key to a successful pickup—especially one with 100+ people—is being completely ready before the first members arrive.