Almost every Wednesday, Olimpia is the first person to show up for our Farm Stand often before we officially open it up at 2pm.
We have this weekly ritual that I was a little annoyed by the first time, but have grown to look forward to each Wednesday. She steps out of her worn, forest green Honda Accord and slowly walks up to our farm stand with a slight grin if we’re lucky. She asks what we have this week wanting me to list off every item even though they’re on the display and she’s looking right at them. Usually one or two things will catch her attention. “Oh, green onions, umm. Those look nice.” Though she gets our bunching onions almost every week when we have them and the price never changes, she always asks how much they cost. I tell her. “Aaay! but that’s so expensive. I can get them for way less at Seller Bros”.
I then repeat my story giving her everything I got. “But I grew them with my own hands. We do all our work by hand. I seeded them months ago and have been caring for them with love and attention ever since. We don’t use any pesticides or chemicals. They’re the freshest onions in this whole city. I picked them this morning.”
This does little to sway her or change the serious look she gives me. So I look at her and say, “For you Olimpia, I’ll give you a discount this one time. But don’t go telling everyone.” And we’ll give her a discount on what she buys. We usually get a big smile at the end of it all as she hands us the $3-$5 she spends every week here.
Olimpia Rodriguez and her husband are one of the families that’s receiving a “Train” bag from our farm. This past Wednesday they wanted to come by and pick-up their bag (and a dozen eggs) at our drive-thru instead of getting it dropped off. Her husband came with her this time. They both were so grateful. She wouldn’t let her husband drive off without giving us $5, her little thank you along with a good smile. It’s the sort of smile we work for, that keeps us motivated.
Our list of those in need keeps growing, we currently serve 43 households totaling 124 people. 34 seniors receive a bag every other week and 22 families ranging in size from 3 -10 people receive a bag of produce every week. And we will continue to do so and more as long as we physically can.
A big thanks to Nancy’s Hustle who have helped expand our offerings by donating dried rice and beans (a huge request from families over the first few weeks of the program), canned tomatoes as well as baking some of their spectacular sourdough loaves fresh for our families this Saturday.
Thanks to all those who continue to support this program. Every little bit helps. Even $5.