Friday, June 29, 2012

Family Produce Stands

Don't you just love them? I remember when it was very common to see a
table set out in a front yard loaded down with fresh garden harvest.
Families who had a bountiful harvest would sell off the extra produce
that their garden provided. Sadly, it is not as common here in
Oklahoma. At least, it is not a common sight in our area. Today, I
found one while driving home from town. A neighbor, about 3/4 miles
from us, had a little sign at the end of his driveway. There, parked in
the yard was a pickup truck with the tailgate loaded down with the day's
harvest. Needless to say, I stopped for a look see. His prices were
very fair. The cucumbers were 4/$1.00 and the squash was $1.00 per
pound. Yeah, the squash was a bit high, but still less than the stores
are charging. He is selling the long skinny type of eggplant at the
same price as the squash. I asked about the eggplant and he is saving
the next pickings for me to buy in a couple of days when it is ready. I
love it!!! I am in heaven finding a family produce stand. In all, I
spent $6.00 for the produce that I bought today, but the amount (and
it's quality) is well worth it.

This brings to mind the few times that our family set out extra produce
when I was a kid. Strawberries were the main thing we would sell.
Vegetables that were not used fresh were always canned up for our pantry
as well as shared with both Grandma and Aunt Sarah for their pantries.
There were times when we would buy produce from Katie's garden. She was
Old Order Amish and raised a very large garden for her family.
Sometimes, she would have extra to sell. It wasn't often, but we always
bought from her when she had the extra to sell.

I wonder if the current economics of our nation, will the family produce
stands come back into popularity? I know that there is a definite
market for it. Yes, I could grow produce to sell at a Farmer's Market
in town, but I have children to look after. Having a way to sell a few
extras from home would be a blessing. If not selling, I know that I
would be quicker to stop at a family produce stand than go to a
supermarket to buy in season produce. Not only is the produce
guaranteed to be fresher, but we prefer to help out our neighbors
through supporting them in this way.

The downside to all of this is a simple one. Depending on what state
you live in, there may be rules to follow in having a small stand. I
keep hearing of children getting their lemonade stands shut down. If
that can happen, it would only be a matter of time before there are
rules against selling your surplus garden produce from your front yard.
I am so grateful that we live where we are. I could set up a stand and
even sell fresh baked goods as long as it is not run as a regular
business that is meant to support the family.

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