From a Farm Stand
What is the lure of a farm stand?
Meandering the backroads of New York state, I have frequently passed farm stands. What is it that makes some of us stop and return to take a closer look?
A few weeks ago, I pulled into a farm stand in Milan, NY. At first, it appeared to be a simple setup with some vegetables arranged on a wooden table. When I approached a gentleman seated on a lawn chair, we greeted each other before I began to examine what was on display. A jumble of vintage books in a crate and other curiosities surrounded him. He slowly began to tell some stories about the items, and I prompted him with questions and some of my memories of visiting relatives at Trail’s End Farm.
Gradually, I explained my fascination with stories passed down through the generations, and he began to tell me about his origins as a Czech immigrant. His eyes sparkled and his voice became resonant as he recalled those earlier days and a time that was pivotal in the life of his family. It is not only his poignant story which should be heard but also those stories in our own families or communities.
As his story ended, I realized that I hadn’t chosen any vegetables for dinner. A vivacious young lady assisting him packed up my selection ranging from patty pans to blueberries. After we said our goodbyes, I drove away wondering…
- What is the lure of a farm stand?
- Is it the beauty of the palette of nature?
- Is it the succulent flavor to add to our meal?
- Is it the yearning for a simpler life?
- Does it bring back memories?
Whatever compels me, you may still find me stopping at a farm stand… What are your memories of a farm stand?
- Blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries and strawberries should be canned as soon as possible after picking.
- Hull or stem.
- Place in strainer and wash by lifting up and down in pan of cold water.
- Pack into hot sterilized glass jars, using care not to crush fruit.
- To insure a close pack, put a 2 or 4 inch layer of berries on the bottom of the jar and press down gently with spoon.
- Continue in this manner until jar is filled.
- Boiling water or boiling thin or medium syrup should be poured over the fruit at once.
- Loosely seal.
- Sterilize 10 minutes in boiling water.
- Remove jars, tighten covers, invert to test seal and cool.
Note: This torn and yellowed recipe was preserved in Auntie’s recipe box.