by Brittney Boudwin and Bryan Mossing
The combined efforts of the SCAD design research students and the Savannah Tech students earlier this year culminated in four farm cart designs, each offering something unique. One design incorporated multiple carts that connected like train cars while another unfolded and collapsed like an ambulance stretcher!
There were also many design similarities between concepts, so Savannah Tech interns William Holden and Nathan Streety combined concepts into one design over the summer, incorporating additional feedback from the community during Earth Day and practical tips from farmer Adam Mentzer into a new set of drawings.
To everyone’s delight, Adam—who has been instrumental throughout the R+D phases as the voice of a farmer—agreed to use the final farm cart once it’s complete. With this opportunity to pilot a fully fabricated farm cart made from reclaimed materials, it was easy to let go of the initial idea of a community cart, which had been originally intended for vendors on site at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market.
The farm cart is now being built expressly for Adam’s Farm and Gardens LLC, and Emergent will follow its life on his farm to analyze it performance over time, with an eye toward creating adaptable assembly guidelines for farmers everywhere. Organizing, loading, transporting, unloading and sorting everything farmers need to sell their goods, and setting-up and breaking-down their stands takes a lot of time and effort. What the farm cart aims to do is create a more efficient loading and unloading experience for farmers who are already over worked.
Building on the SCAD’s on-site research at the farmer’s market, William and Nathan joined Adam at his farm to better understand his activities before and after such a trip.
“The trip to the farm,” Nathan said, ‘gave me a good idea of what the trailer would actually be used for and what the process of loading produce and transporting it is like without it.”
The visit was both for research and volunteer purposes. The day with Adam was spent filling soil bags for one of the greenhouses and repairing irrigation lines to one of his fields. Nathan observed,
“Refrigeration was one of the most important things we learned about on the farm. Being able to keep the produce as cool as possible wasn’t something we even thought of until Adam told us. Not to mention, feeling the blazing summer sun firsthand let us know just how important a reliable source of cold would be [in] keeping the trailer as insulated as possible.”
William and Nathan hadn’t even left Adam’s property before they began kicking around ideas of insulated panels and potential cooling devices to incorporate in the design. The next phase of the project; sourcing materials and completing the fabrication drawings!