Driving around the neighborhood I always notice signs for garage sales, real estate signs, open houses, and For Rent signs. I usually overlook all these signs as I’m on a mission to get somewhere and to get things done. Some of these signs do intrigue me. Signs like Apricots for Sale, Dried Fruits for Sale, Persimmons Self Serve, Local Honey, and Artist Open Studio. I tend to drive right past these signs as well and think, “I will stop by next time.” But next time never seems to happen.
Then last fall, I decided to slow down and actually stopped at one of these homegrown farm stands, and I was so surprised at how easy it was to grab a few locally grown fruits and dried fruits.
When one thinks of foraging, traditionally the dictionary defines it as “T
Once in a while on the weekends the kids and I love to stop at farm stands where fruits and vegetables are sold off the road or at home-gardens. Typically we do this when we are heading back from an activity on the weekends as we have more time to do a few detours. I find we have the best impromptu feel good moments at these un-anticipated excursions.
One of the home-gardens that we stopped at just said “Self Serve” with another sign that read “Persimmons and Dried Fruit”. The kids and I decided to check it out.
These people had bins with fresh picked fruits and little signs with prices for their produce. They just asked customers to help themselves and drop the money in a cash-box. This was a completely trust-based system. At this home orchard there were lemons, limes, dried fruits, and tons of fresh persimmons for our choosing.
Their prices were insanely cheap too! 5 persimmons for $1 – unreal. I bought a bunch for us and a few to share with friends.
These folks even had a couple of printouts of recipes for their customers to grab.
Driving around I’ve seen other farm-stands in the neighborhood that are permanent sheds where all sorts of summer fruits, vegetables and honey are sold. I’ve stopped by our local farm stand for fresh berries many times. The berries at this farm-stand taste so amazing that they don’t last long once we bring them home.
Oranges for our choosing from another home in our neighborhood. The twins picked up two bags of oranges to take home and enjoy.
Aother home-grown delight is local honey. For years every spring I would see a sign for Local Honey on the way to pick up my kids from school. I saw this sign pop up at the same time every year, and every year I would think “I will stop by next time“. And then one year I actually did stop and pick up a couple of jars of local honey. Let me tell you, it was the best tasting honey I have ever had! Now, the home where I picked it up was a little dubious. I will write another story on this very interesting experience of mine to get this coveted local honey 😋.
Other signs we have seen are for Artist’s Studio or Open Studios for pottery and paintings. When the sign says Pottery, I have to check it out!
These pottery artists sell their wares out of their garage or at an outdoor venue. I always find the most amazing pottery gems at these Open Studios.
The twins and I also like to forage for beautiful branches for display in our home. My favorites are the oak branches with moss and lichen. We pick these branches in the winter when we get our heavy rains and storms that shakes up the oak tree branches that are laden with lichen.
The cool thing about these branches is that when I first display them, they are a hazy olive green in color, by the time summer rolls around the lichen turns a golden yellow and orange in color. Very cool!
Foraging in the neighborhood is so much fun when we slow down and stop at these local events, farm stands, garage sales, and home artist boutiques. The twins and I get to meet the friendliest people from the neighborhood and come home with stories to share with Hitesh. He always asks “But why didn’t you take me with you!” To which our response is “Oh, it was an impromptu detour.” 😄😄😄
Happy Foraging in the Neighborhood