When I visited the Boxcar Market I asked a lot of questions since there are some people in my town in West Virginia who would like to start a similar local foods market, maybe not as complete a grocery as Boxcar is, but some of the concepts are similar.
When I was asked if we had settled on our suppliers yet I had to report that it is still being worked out. Her next question surprised me: Are you getting any of your producec from within your town?
She sent me to Truly Living Well who operates several growing centers but the one I visited was the Wheat Street Garden close to Auburn Avenue. Located within view of downtown Atlanta, this 4 acre parcel provides vegetables and fruit to individual purchasers, CSA members, local stores and restaurants. Several staff members are assisted by volunteers. The greenhouse provides a climate controlled area for seedlings. Seeing the amount of greens in various stages of growth reminded me that my home in West Virginia does not enjoy the more temperate winters that Atlanta does, but these raised beds can be worked as low tunnels and the results would be similar spectacular.
The Living Well site has ample parking, a covered picnic area with sinks for warm weather classes, several storage areas, the greenhouse, and some fun areas as well. This is a wonderful use of an abandoned land parcel that any urban area has in abundance. We can do this!