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Down the street and around the corner there’s a small, homemade farm stand. I’m sure most of my neighbors don’t think much about it.
The little stand is painted dark red with a blue umbrella. It has a brilliant little slot you can slip cash into on the days when there is even something there for you to buy. It’s not a new stand. It’s been there for years and years. They don’t stock it very often any more.
One night this week, they set out three recycled egg cartons and pushed up the umbrella. I had to stop and buy one. Not because I needed eggs, truthfully, I had two dozen at home. I stopped because this was the stand that started it all for me, and I had yet to actually visit it.
I drive by this stand almost every day. Over the years, I started thinking about where the people behind the stand got the plans to design and build a custom farm stand with a money slot. What inspired them? Was it an abundance of produce or a desire to connect to their neighbors?
Why would anyone have a farm stand anymore? There are grocery stores and farmers’ markets in every town. There are very few, if any, neighborhoods left that need a farm stand to offer fresh eggs, produce or goats.
Yeah, goats. I’ll explain in a minute.
One night, I was driving home past this stand and the idea hit me. It’s only very recently that we stopped having a need for local farm stands. It’s sad, if you think about it. We don’t need our neighbors to share their saved seeds or host a “First Peas” party. We can go to the store and buy peas anytime. Just buy your seeds from Amazon. Done. Easy.
Maybe there is still some need for farm stands. Maybe it’s actually reemerging. It’s very personal to get to know the people who grow your food or make your skincare products. They will tell you what made them choose a certain variety or process. They’re not squeezing profits out of their operation. Some motivations are purer than profits.
Or maybe they just have too many goats. Occasionally, when there is an abundance of goats, they write “Goats for sale” on the little sign next to this farm stand. They don’t actually, technically sell goats at the farm stand. There’s never been goat milk or soaps available at this stand, but I’ve always thought the little goats for sale sign was adorable. It also highlights the variety of goods you can buy from your neighbors. We might think it’s a little funny to procure goats from a neighbor, but we might be the first generation in history to think that way.
I don’t know if I myself will ever have the flexibility in my schedule to open a farm stand. Writing for Farmstand Culture might be as close as I come. I’d be ok with that outcome. The name, the original series and the inspiration behind this site all began with a little red farm stand that captured my day dreams.
There aren’t enough items available at this stand to list the Top 5! But there were at these other farmstand5 hot spots.