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Ovation: Roadside Produce Stands.

07/14/2013

roadside-culture-1I enjoy a nice salad once in a while.  Nothing fancy, just some cold crisp lettuce, a little bit of grated cheese, a few croutons and a nice Thousand Island dressing.  It seems that man places put so much stuff in their salads that there’s hardly any lettuce.  I think one of my favorite salads is the one that they serve at Cracker Barrel because it comes with a hard-boiled egg and a wedge of cheddar cheese.

I’ve never been much of a gardener.  I’ve tried a few times to grow my own vegetables but I didn’t do it on a big enough scale to make it worth the effort.  I found it to be a lot of work with very little reward.  After pulling weeds, watering daily, chasing rabbits, spraying for bugs and the washing and storing of the resulting vegetables, it seems more economical to simply buy them.

Most of the supermarkets that I visit have large produce sections with a big variety of lettuces, several types of tomatoes, and all the ingredients required for a fancy salad.  But we can never be sure where they’ve come from, how they were grown, cared for, transported, etc.  Even the more expensive “organic” vegetables in the supermarket can be suspect.  So, when the opportunity presents itself, I like to buy from local gardeners.

Today, I passed several roadside produce stands.  It was a beautiful day and we’ve had lots and lots of rain in the last few weeks so there must have been a lot of crops to harvest this week.  I get a kick seeing folks on the side of the road with their hand-painted signs set up like a real business.

LocalProduceThere’s a market at which I frequently stop on my way home from work that sells vegetables grown by people in the neighborhood.  They always have tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion and potatoes.  During the summer, they have corn on the cob, beans, melons and squash.  If I happen to stop at just the right time, I might be able to get a basket of blackberries or strawberries, too.

Another of my local markets sells a variety of homemade jams, jellies, breads and rolls (I spend far too much money at this one!).  My favorite store sells fresh Amish-churned butter.  It’s a bit of a drive but worth it to stock up.

Do you enjoy locally grown produce from roadside stands?

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5 Comments
  1. I think everyone should frequent these stands. My wife and I love fresh, local tomatoes for sandwiches and salads. The taste leaps into your mouth. Thanks for sharing, BTG

    Like

  2. When I was a girl, my grandfather ran a fruit orchard in British Columbia. Every year a huge wooden crate would arrive at our door filled with peaches, pears, apricots & walnuts. Unfortunately, every year the crate cost more & more to ship & we finally had to ask our grandfather to stop sending the fruit because the shipping was worth more than the fruit. But we would have fresh fruit & canned fresh fruit, mmmm mmmmm.

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