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Thread: Roadside farm stands

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Roadside farm stands

    I hadn't really intended this thread to head into a serious discussion about regulations of roadside farm stands, but if it heads that way so be it (here in Right To Farm land they're permitted plain and simple, and municipalities can't find them to be a nuisance).

    We stopped to get some sweet corn and a u-pick herb garden this weekend. Farm stands usually have the freshest stuff you'll find and offer it at lower prices than either farmer's markets or grocery stores.

    Some 'stands' are nothing more than a poster board sign, card table, and honor-system coffee can, while others involve semi permanent structures, employees and visa payments.

    Do you frequent farm stands in your area?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Do you frequent farm stands in your area?
    My parents live in a rural area with a lot of farming and we often will stop at the roadside stands near them when we visit. All of the ones near their house are honor system, though if somebody happens to be outside working they may come over to chat or lend a hand.

    This time of year that's my preferred place to get things like beans and corn and a couple of tomatoes or some peppers and in the fall that's how we always get our pumpkins for carving and some other small squash and pumpkins for decorating. There are also a few stands that we can go to and get fresh eggs (they keep them in a cooler to keep them out of the shade). When we go out there I always make sure I have a bunch of $1s just in case we stop since you never know if you will be able to get change.

    My dad keeps a sign at the end of the driveway advertising hay and straw for sale and besides their regular customers who come and buy hundreds of bales at a time (he has a couple big customers who buy 500 bales of straw a few times a year) he says he gets 3 or 4 random strangers stopping by for just one or two bales of something each week. The barn is nominally locked but he has a few people who know how to get in and grab their own if nobody is home and will hide the money where my dad knows to look. When I go visit them, I always make sure I am wearing something I don't mind getting dirty in case I get drafted into loading up somebody's wagon or truck.

    They used to sell eggs as well but haven't had chickens in a couple of years now so they had to cover that part of the sign up. When they still advertised the eggs, they could have probably sold 10 dozen eggs a day if they had that many chickens. There's a lot of demand for "farm fresh eggs". My dad used to also deliver eggs to a few different businesses in the area where the people working there wanted them (a local gas station, his barbershop, the librarian in town, etc.)
    Last edited by WSU MUP Student; 17 Jul 2017 at 12:18 PM.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
    Feb 2004
    Chicago, IL
    We have people selling produce out of the back of trucks but they just buy it wholesale and mark it up a little bit. Chicago has a lot of farmers markets, possibly too many according to an article I read. Apparently there aren't enough farmers to go around.

  4. #4
    Personally, I've never bought anything from a roadside farm stand. I understand the need and purpose of the legitimate ones.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
    Jun 2004
    near the edge
    A cousin of mine has a farm and a roadside stand located on the farm. Conveniently, the farm is located at an intersection of two state highways. They grow apples, peaches, and nectarines. They sell their crops in various forms. They also sell other local farm's crops on consignment. It's opened from the time the first strawberry is picked to when the last apple is sold, which is april-ish to december-ish.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Jamestown, New York
    My parents operated a small truck farm and we had a farm stand all the years I was growing up, so I've been an "eat local" advocate long before it became fashionable. Luckily for me, I live in a small city in a predominantly rural area, so I have easy access to farm stands (there are even a couple of farms with livestock still existing within the city limits!). During the growing season,I only buy locally grown fruits and veggies from farm stands, and I have 2 or 3 that are my favorites. I even get my maple syrup and honey from local producers.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  7. #7
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    When I was in western Maine, there was a great stand down the street from my house which was great!

    I go to the farmers market here on the mid coast now

    When we lived in Massachusetts, we used to go to farm stands nearby - many of them gradually became stores, which was a zoning issue as their store grew and its popularity
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

  8. #8
    When I was a kid we used to buy fresh picked Jersey white corn on the cob. It was the sweetest melt off the cob corn you ever did eat.

    Now I go to a farmers market. It's okay, but not the same.
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    Aug 2001
    Western Pennsylvania
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    When I was a kid we used to buy fresh picked Jersey white corn on the cob. It was the sweetest melt off the cob corn you ever did eat.

    Now I go to a farmers market. It's okay, but not the same.
    Once I have the perfect ear of corn, which comes from a stand, I can't eat any more because it won't measure up.

    I buy from a farmer's market in my town; the things I get are pretty good.

    Funny thing, the downtown business group has a farm market on Saturdays. It turned into a vendor market, so the farmers stopped setting up there and moved out to the highway. They lost that location and are back in town, but won't set up at the downtown market.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    I'm in the middle of farm country and we have very few farm stands. Mostly because we grow wheat, soy, and milo. I get the occasional eggs for sale, hay is more common. Usually it's just a sign and you pull up to the house. No problems. The only time we ever have a problem is when they set up right next to the road and people start parking in the road. No bueno.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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