Bus shopping and the "baby bear" phenomenon

Greetings, local food lovers and blog enthusiasts. Ibti here -- your friendly neighborhood mobile market manager!

Here I am next to the super cool, Richmond-based Farm to Family bus about two weeks ago when Erin and I stopped by for a visit at their CSA drop-off site. Isn't it rad? I want one. A school bus filled with seasonal, sustainable, fresh foods, that is, but not one nearly quite so... large. I am used to maneuvering a bicycle, after all.

Since throwing myself headlong into mobile market research at work these past few weeks, I've been lusting after school buses. I see them everywhere. On the way to work. Walking home from yoga. While running errands around town. Soon they will probably be sitting in the traffic of my dreams.

The first piece I am trying to work out is what size bus I will need. Like a modern day Goldilocks, I haven't yet found the right one for me. My friend Susan refers to this as "the baby bear phenomenon"....

Too small.

Too big.

Just right? Hmmm. Possibly. It's maybe, what, a bit under 25 feet long? I didn't have a chance to catch up with this one with my tape measure amid rush hour gridlock during my bike ride to work the other day -- it's hard to get my winter bike gloves off that quickly and rummage around in my backpack -- but something along this size could work nicely for a few neighborhood market stops each day. I can fit a lot of produce in there and still be able to navigate the narrow, potholed streets en route to Deanwood, say.

Stay tuned for updates as the mobile market project develops. Meanwhile, if anyone has a lead on a good diesel mechanic in the DC area, send 'em my way. I may be able to drive the thing, but I'll definitely need help with repairs, and my regular automotive consultant (aka, my little brother) doesn't do diesel....


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