Farm Stands

A phenomenon exists in the Northeast US that just doesn’t seem likely to catch on in the South.


I’m talking farm stands.


Traveling backroads from Pennsylvania to West Virginia and Ohio and all the way east to Maine, it is a common occurrence to see these miniature farmer’s markets on the side of the road.


Some are simply a table with a basket of vegetables.  Sometimes it’s flowers or fruits.  Others might be a rack of bundled firewood with a roof over it to keep the wood dry.   The common denominator on all of these is that payment is on the HONOR SYSTEM.  No one is there to help you or monitor you.


I love my southern cousins, but if someone tried selling their excess garden produce like this where I live, you would likely find the money gone by nightfall and all the produce strewn over the highway.  Am I being cynical? 


As Jenni and I drove hundreds of miles, we saw so many of these stands.  Like mentioned before, some were just tables.  A few had umbrellas over them.  I know I saw one that was a wooden rolling cart and another that was the hull of a boat.  The fancier ones had doors you could close like on a pie safe.  And then there were ones whose owners had too much time on their hands and built “she-sheds” that you could walk into when selecting your produce.


But the biggest hoot we got was coming out of the mountains in New Hampshire (or were we already in Maine?  It’s almost impossible to keep up.)  A crude sign told us there were Whoopie Pies ahead.  I assumed these ‘pies’ would be in a general store.  Oh, no.  Right there on the side of the road was a farm stand with several different fruit pies as well as the promised Whoopie Pies right beside the cash jar.


Now I don’t even like Whoopie Pies, but I told Jenni I was going to turn around and go back to get one.  She said, ‘You’re seriously going to buy food from an unmanned shelf on the side of the road and eat it?”  (She knows my weakness.  I have trouble eating other people’s food at the church pot luck.)


A self-serve, self-pay Whoopie Pie stand could never make it in the South.  Can you imagine what they would look like after an hour or two in the summer heat?

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