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What's sold along the road outside of your town?

Dan

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After living throughout the United States, I've noticed that there's a distinct regional variation in exurban roadside sales -- that is, what people try to sell roadside outside of cities, usually on weekends. I'm not talking the rose people or tiger rug people that are everywhere, but rather things like the following.

* Outside of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, particularly in the mountains, on weekends you'll pass by tens of roadside stands for beef jerky.

* Past exurban Buffalo, small roadside farm stands are popular. Sweet potato and sweet corn seem to be the most common crops.

* In Central Florida, stands selling "BOILED P-NUTS" are everywhere.

* In Southern New Mexico, you would find people selling chile roadside in season. Go down a ways, and you'll see someone with a roadside roaster. Mmmmmm ...
 

Cardinal

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The old farm stands are becoming very rare, but in the right season I still may see signs for strawberries or apples. Right now there is one place between ~~~~~~~~~~ and Madison selling fresh asparagus. Interestingly, we have an organic farmer in the city who sets up a cart along the road with fresh produce. He never tends it - just leave the cash in the jar.
 

kms

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Here in western PA, you'll find bar-b-que stands and fireworks (sparklers, etc.) during summer. My favorite - Bob's Sweet Corn (and other vegetables) opens in July. Yes, this is an endorsement.
 

Chet

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You cant dicker over price but...

Travelling up US Highway 45 from Milwaukee to Green Bay, "adult" stores proliferate in a 20 mile stretch. There must be a few towns in a row that have weak zoning regs. Either that or a high concentration of horny farmers...
 

Cardinal

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It's like the first few miles of I-94 north of the state line. All those Illinoiers come up to buy porn. FIBs. Of course, those are year-round operations. Dan was asking about the guys who just set up along the roadside. From my memory, I seem to remember a lot of fireworks stands in that area.
 

Chet

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Oh yeah, and near my house "vendors" set up cheesey velvet rug sales, usually out of '72 GMC vans.
 
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Mmmmm.... Boiled P-nuts! I actually made a batch for my family this weekend to treat them to the Southern delicacy, and ended up eating most of them myself. (insert Homer's Drooly Noise here)

Anyway, oddly enough, we've got a guy with a super producing veggie garden who has a little stand set up down the road a bit, he just leaves the cash box out. We buy tomatos there.

Other than that, just lots and lots of car dealers who need to be continually reminded that cars cannot be displayed in their green space or road right of way.
 

lowlyplanner

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The boiled P-Nut guys are all over rural north Florida as well. Many of them sell fresh produce as well - watermelon, strawberries, etc. They're better and cheaper than the grocery store. I usually only indulge my boiled p-nut fixation on the way to UF football games.

Just north of Lawtey you'll also find a giant teepee called the "Silver Lining" Indian gift shop, which is somewhat disturbing (especially since the Indians in Florida never lived in teepees).
 

Jen

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Here in west michigan there are farm stands galore, fresh cut flower stands too! Of course it is still a little early for most produce. Right now there are lots and lots of yard,garden,garage,shed and barn sales.

In Fla I remember the roadside sellers of shrimp and stone crab claws. yum yum.
 

IPlan

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Sale

In the country around here, there are roadside stands of flowers and produce in the summer. Early spring there are usually a bunch of Maple Syrup signs and sales, and there is always signs for eggs, apple butter and things like that. This is a direct result of the Mennonite community in the area.
 

jmf

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It depends on the time of year here but includes: rhubarb, strawberries, corn, apples (lots of apples), potatoes, hay, squash. pumpkins, perennials, eggs, ducks (so I have heard),

And, of course, worms.

Plus then there are the tractors, trailers and rototillers that people try to sell at the end of the driveway.

OK and for the northern-ite, what the heck is a boiled peanut? We saw signs everywhere in SC but were never brave enough to try.
 

lowlyplanner

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Honestly, it's just that: a peanut which has boiled to kind of a squishy softness. One buys them in a big zip-lock bag at about $1 per pound, and you throw the shells out your car window as you drive down the two-lane rural road.
 

donk

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Smelts, takeouts(fish and chips), fruits and vegetables, lobster, stick furniture, cedar boards, greenhouses, fiddleheads....
 

Mastiff

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Nothing.

The town is completely surrounded by the National Forest. They don't let anyone sell anything... The closest thing we have is a little drive thru coffee stand just outside of the town where the US doesn't own a tiny plot.
 

Chet

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I wish I could post a JPEG!

We have a guy that sells yard gnomes and lawn jockeys, etc. His front yard looks like a dwarven army amassing to first the Empire.
 

kms

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We also have people who sell "reconditioned" lawn mowers and bicycles from their yards.
 

Repo Man

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In numerous small towns in rural Wisconsin (especially on highways leading to popular vacation destinations) there are all kinds of fireworks stands. A few years back I stopped at one and tried to get some bottle rockets, The drunk guy guy, who has set up shop on his front lawn, told me that I needed a waiver from the City where I lived and gave me a photocopied waiver. He then hinted at the fact that if I were to go back to my car and fill out the form and forge the Mayor of my city's signature, he would be able to sell me bottle rockets and anything else I wanted.

Of course I told him that that was wrong and I would never do something so immoral and illegal :;)
 
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It depends on what neighborhood you're in. Items for sale along the road run the gamut from drugs and sex to seafood and fruit. Around the gift-giving holidays, you'll see the gifts that keep on giving like huge stuffed animals, oh-so-fake flowers, velour paintings, life-size ceramic animals for your home, and animal print (and occasionally Confederate flag) floor rugs.

Oh, I almost forgot - windshield washing!!!! Don't get caught at a red light...you may have to pay for an unsolicited windshield washing or risk driving home on a slashed tire! Just joking - it's not that bad.
 
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Lowly - you forgot to mention that about 3 tons of salt have been added to the boiling water, making the p-nuts full of briny goodness. Better get a sweet tea for when you get thirsty!
 

Runner

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In central Texas, where property owner rights rule and the private automobile (re. SUV) is king, its mobile home dealerships and fireworks stands.
 

planasaurus

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The Mexicans in my city sell:

mangos with lemon and salt - cut up on a plate

corn on the cob on a stick covered in mayo, butter, cheese, and chilis

cucumbers with lemon and salt

ice with really sweet syrup on it

very yummy!
 

el Guapo

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Missouri

Travel trailers and propane.
Fireworks from inside huge buildings with AC and carpet.
Antiques (old expensive crap)
 

Bullwinkle

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I just notice yesterday the ever-popular 'wild salmon sold from the back of a native american's pickup truck' is back in town. They claim tribal sovereignty or some such thing and refuse to get a vendor license or move off the public right-of-way. So far, I have not been able to get our prosecutor to call them on it.

I understand that tribal sovereignty lets them sell fireworks and tax-free cigarettes and gas on tribal lands, but we are 100 miles from any tribal lands. I can't figure it out.
 

peter lowitt

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My favorite roadside taste sensation occurred during a visit to Quebec many moons ago. Late August roadside stand selling fresh raspberries with maple sugar. Plus hot corn. Chaud Maize? if I remember correctly.
 

kms

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I just drove out a country road to buy perennials. Along the way, I could have purchased "Evergreens, shrubs and transplants" or "Tropical Fish - 50 cents a piece".
 

Tranplanner

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Chip stands are an Ontario staple... take a broken down schoolbus/transit bus/camper/RV/construction trailer, paint it some god-awful colour and place a sandwich board on the highway about 500m up the road and you've got a gold mine.

Lots of garden centres/nurseries on the fringes of Toronto, along with pick-your-own strawberry/raspberry/apple/etc. farms. Eggs, manure, firewood and antiques in the boonies...
 

GeogPlanner

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i particularly like the leather belts and wallets truck set up on our old main drag just off the bus stop by the supermarket.
 

Jeff

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Soft pretzels in Philly. $1.00 a bag.

You can get shis ka bobs on the corners in North Philly, but I wouldn't suggest going into North Philly.
 

el Guapo

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WHY?

Can someone tell me why the Mulletteers sport a chain on their wallet? Seriously, I don't know.
 
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El Guapo, I just don't know. When I was in undergrad, oh, about 10 years ago, the wallet chains were attached to all the young urban hipsters from the city (NYC that is). I'm just as confused as you are.
 

Kwame K

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They don't let me out of town much (my ankle tether has a short range) but in the city we've got BBQ cooked roadside in cookers made out of old oil drums, as well as cheesy looking tapestries draped over vans (African themes are popular) along with terra cotta statues (preferably spray painted gold). Sometimes Muslim guys in white shirts and bow ties sell peanuts or fruit in plastic bags to cars stopped at lights (Not many cars stop for lights here, though. We're talking about Detroit.).
 

Chet

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Re: I wish I could post a JPEG!

bturk said:
We have a guy that sells yard gnomes and lawn jockeys, etc. His front yard looks like a dwarven army amassing to first the Empire.
I finally got a pic of this one:
 

Habanero

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Awesome! On Highway 36 out to my Mom's place they have 2 smaller "antique" stores in the little town of Rodger. One of the stores has large coat of armor on the railing, right next to the metal bed frames and bathtubs.
 

Bucky alum

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New Jersey

Out here in NJ I find anything you want as long as its stolen. Out in the country there are lots of flower stores and some fruit stands, unfortunately they are very expensive ($$ than a grocery store, and their produce is usally from out of state) Damn rip offs...

I miss the old Maxwell Street in Chicago where you could get anything including a huge wok my dad bought once.

When I worked for a shoe company I helped out on case to see why this one store had so much stolen items. Well, we thought it was an outside job but the tapes were showing up nothing. On the 3rd night as we left the store, we drove out the other way to then turn around to head to our hotel and we saw one of the employees in his work uniform selling a case of shoes. He had been throwing pairs into the garbage, the manager would take the garbage out, and he would then take the shoes out and sell them. Pretty smart.
 

nerudite

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Roadside stands here in Alberta sell Taber (a small town in Southern Alberta) corn.
 

jmf

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nerudite said:
Roadside stands here in Alberta sell Taber (a small town in Southern Alberta) corn.
MMMMMmmmmmmm, taber corn.....should have had breakfast, I'm drooling all over my keyboard. That has to be the BEST corn I have ever had.
 

nerudite

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It *is* really really yummy. Coming from California, I have been a little ummmmm... dismayed I guess... at the produce quality up here. It's very hit and miss. But the corn can't be beat!
 

jmf

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nerudite said:
It *is* really really yummy. Coming from California, I have been a little ummmmm... dismayed I guess... at the produce quality up here. It's very hit and miss. But the corn can't be beat!
OK if you think the produce is poor in AB don't move east!!! We have great local produce but anything which comes from away can be pretty bad and very expensive. It is even worse in Newfoundland.

During the great ice storm which hit Quebec a few years ago there was no green produce in the grocery stores here because all of the major border crossings in Quebec were closed and the produce trucks weren't moving.
 

donk

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what jmf and nerduite, you don't like white tomatoes in november and tossed salads that cost $15 to make. (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, green peppers and carrots)

I have to agree, that unless it is summer the produce out east is rotten.
 

OhioPlanner

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My husband is from south Texas. You would see fresh Shrimp for sale along the side of the road.

That is one of those things I don't feel so comfortable buying from a side of the road vendor.
 

Bucky alum

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Fresh Coconuts

In hawaii you can drive around and buy chilled coconuts from roadside vendors. Hey its for the tourists but its allright by me!
 

jmf

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Tranplanner said:
Alright then jmf - maybe I can trade fresh produce for a case of Garrison?
That just may work

.....trying for a trip in Feb-Mar but definitely will be there in late May.
 
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