When exploring the Atlanta BeltLine, one expects to see joggers, walkers, strollers, and scooters. There are festival-goers, commuters, tourists—even a woman who plays the violin as she walks. But unless you’ve been out exploring in the last few weeks or attended Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday, you haven’t seen Crop Cycle. (You’d know if you did.)
An initiative of the Community Farmers Markets (CFM), Crop Cycle is a roving farm stand that looks like a brightly decorated food cart attached to a tricycle. It was designed by Ana Maria Paramo, a visual artist with a CFM residency, in partnership with CFM director of marketing Stephanie Luke.
“Part of our mission is to seek innovative solutions to food access,” says Paramo, who is Crop Cycle’s official rider. “We designed the vehicle so that it could carry the most produce possible while being light enough to bike around town.”
Crop Cycle can carry about 100 pounds of produce, from peaches and beets to carrots, cucumbers, and squash, sourced from the Community Farmers Markets. “It’s whatever the farmers have—we want to focus on items people can eat on the spot,” Paramo says. The project was created through funds from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, but it’s currently seeking sponsors for day-to-day events.
Though selling on the actual BeltLine is not permitted, Crop Cycle bikes the trail raising awareness about farmers markets, giving away produce, and conducting simple cooking demonstrations.
“I imagine [eventually] being able to park at some of these apartment complexes along the BeltLine, the way an ice cream truck would, and sell produce there,” says Paramo, who also hopes to create a musical identity for Crop Cycle. “We will be working with a local producer to create a bright and upbeat—mostly instrumental—sound with a heavy tropical influence” that Crop Cycle can play while on the move to garner attention.
Not on the Eastside Trail often? Crop Cycle will be giving out samples and selling produce at the Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 22, conducting a cooking demonstration at the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival on July 14, and roving the Westside Trail “as much as possible,” Paramo says.
To see a current list of locations and offerings, follow @CropCycleATL on Instagram.