On Wednesday afternoon, the Philly Forests crew unloaded supplies for their Farm to Table Dinner, a series celebrating local food producers. While transferring items indoors at Awbury Awboretum (6336 Ardleigh Street), a person rode up on a bike and drove off with their truck. Now, they are asking for community help to purchase a new truck to finish the season via a new GoFundMe page.
Philly Forests hosts the Germantown Farmers Market, which could threaten the weekly Saturday market’s efficiency. “The truck was used for our farm business,” says the director of Philly Forests, Jasmine Thompson. “[it transports] our harvest, wholesale items, farmer’s market infrastructure, and delivery of trees and shrubs.”
Thompson says they have contacted the police, who said they would likely catch the suspect if they get stopped for a traffic violation.
Inside the 2012 White Toyota Tacoma was a cash box with $500, the Farmers Market tablet & card reader, dinner materials, Thompson’s phone and laptop, and more. Thompson said the incident happened quickly, as she was only inside for a little over a minute. When she came out, she saw the truck turning on Washington Lane.
Reflecting on the Wednesday incident, Thompson says, “I still feel shocked, speechless, and defeated. The first few years of business are frequently financially strapping, and for months we’ve been scraping along financially — barely getting by. So this feels like the worst time for this to happen.”
She asks that neighbors keep an eye out for “Coconut,” their name for the truck. If anyone has any information, contact the police or farm manager Shannon Wichmann at 610-529-6447.