Taste of Home Web Editor, Heather Gergen shares a story about her roadside stand adventures.
I should get a bumper sticker that says “I Brake for Roadside Stands.” I love farmer’s markets, but I seem to get the biggest kick from my “finds” along the road.
I’m lucky enough to live in a suburb on the outskirts of a big city—close enough to enjoy the perks of city life, yet far enough away to not have to rely on farmers markets for farm-fresh produce. I can just stop by and visit the farmer’s roadside stand—sometimes I even get to visit with the farmer, too.
I love the fact that I know where the food my family eats is grown. It tastes better than the store-bought varieties and it’s usually much healthier.
On vacation, I have found some of the best produce at roadside stands. Fresh peaches in Michigan. Tasty sweet corn in Ohio. Cherries in Door County, Wisconsin. Oranges in Florida.
I buy fresh brown eggs from the farm up the street. Every couple of weeks the sign that says “Fresh Eggs” will go up at the farmer’s house. It is usually on a weekday when only local people will see it, so the farmer doesn’t have to deal with weekend warriors out for a Sunday drive. The eggs are usually gone within a few hours and the sign comes down.
If we are lucky enough to pass by when the sign is up, we just have to stop. The eggs are kept in a cooler and there is usually an honor money box to pay for them. I just open the minivan door and let the kids do the rest. They relish the independence of taking the change purse of money to buy the eggs, not to mention the responsibility of selecting the perfect carton of eggs.
In fact, one time the kids and I were able to visit the farm and play with the animals. It was a day they will never forget—not only did they have fun with the animals, but they also made some friends.
There are a couple of roadside stands that sell fresh produce in our area. My favorite is in front of a mom and pop garden store that has a huge garden and greenhouse. They put up signs for strawberries, kohlrabi, broccoli, zucchini and more. The photo above was taken last fall at the height of squash season.
Last week, I bought dark green broccoli there that was so fresh and delicious that it was gone almost as soon as it hit the table. I also bought an abundance of summer squash, onions and leeks. I didn’t know what I was going to make with them, but they just looked so darn good.
I searched tasteofhome.com for a recipe and found this tasty gluten-free, low-cal Summer Squash Soup. It is only 90 calories a cup. The soup surprisingly tastes almost like a corn chowder or bisque. I added some pepper for a little extra flavor. I think it tastes even better reheated for lunch the next day, giving the flavors a little more time to blend.
A retired neighbor up the street from us has a garden big enough to feed a village. At the end of August, he sets up shop in his front yard and sells zucchini, tomatoes and butternut squash. We often see him sitting in his front yard under a shade tree selling vegetables.
I mainly grow lettuce, peppers and tomatoes in my own garden. I’ve never been that successful at vegetable gardening, but those are the three crops I seem to be able to handle. It’s easier for me to buy local, sustainable food from my neighbors anyhow.
What fresh produce do you like to buy in your area? Is there a roadside stand that you like to visit?
You Might Also Like