River’s Edge Farm Provides Important Access to Fresh Local Vegetables


When you hear the word, “Farming”, you most likely think of large-scale dairy farming, combine harvesters, harvesting grain, and so on. But tucked in the corners of many small towns, you’ll find small little operations that, while humble, still deserve the label of a Farm. Vegetable farming goes right back to our hunting-gathering roots when villages and settlements provided all of their own food. Back then every settlement had one or two vegetable farms that provided for the whole village. Traditional vegetable stands were set up at the farmers’ market events. Many villages would gather in a central area and sell or exchange livestock, handmade items, and food items. The stands that sold similar items from different areas had to compete with prices and quality. 

Today, the scene is a little different. Vegetable stands are typically a family ordeal. In rural areas, you’ll get one or two per town open in the summer. Though they are not competing in the same area, there is still some loose competition between vegetable stands in neighboring areas. According to Nina Planck, who runs a stand in England, you must be aware of the quality of product you have. If it is a higher quality product than your competitors, charge more and you should be recognized with your better product. 

To find out more about the Vegetable stand market, I spoke with local legend Lorie Seadale. Lorie owns and operates the River’s Edge Farm Stand in Barton with her husband Eddie. I was interested to know how much of a role industrial technology plays in a local farm stand. To my surprise, River’s Edge keeps things pretty simple and old-fashioned. Here’s Lorie – “We keep it pretty simple for a farm stand and greenhouse operation. We use an online credit card processing company that provides instant approvals or declines for credit card use. We enjoy a BlueTooth speaker for music.  The biggest change I have started using in the greenhouse is a web based temperature monitoring system that I can check from anywhere I have WiFi. I can also set a high and low temperature for the app. to send me warnings to both a cell phone and landlines if the temp gets too hot or too cold. Before I got this system I had to drive to the greenhouses on cold nights to make sure the furnaces hadn’t failed.” 

A chief complaint about the produce industry is the use of pesticides which are harmful to the consumer. I prompted Lorie about this, and what she uses to keep her produce pest-free. “ I do not use any pesticides in my greenhouses or produce boxes”, says Lorie. “I always try to begin with a clean greenhouse. If I catch something early enough, I clean by hand. I may use sticky paper to catch pests or dust plants leaves with diatomaceous earth only if I can avoid flowers that will be visited by pollinators. But mostly I just remove the pests or remove the problem plants/crops.”

Lorie is just one of many in the world making a living off of their own hard work and skill. Next time you need to restock your fruit basket, consider going local. Buying from someone like Lorie, you can talk to them personally and find out exactly how the produce is grown.