Farmstands in Southern Ontario range from eye catching abundance to others that are simply sunflower bunches waiting at the end of a driveway, a sign reading $5.00 resting against the buckets. Fruits, veggies and flowers are grown on full scale farms or kitchen garden plots. The excess finds its way to the roadside. While charm ratings vary from one to the next they all seem to operate on the honor system, a coffee can or box waiting for payment. This one sits just outside the town of Ridgeway, Ontario, not far from the Niagara river and Lake Erie.

Like a farmer’s market, there are no organic labels or origin stickers on individual items. You may be wondering, “Is this legal?”

The quick and dirty answer, “Yep.”

In places like these you know your neighbors and it’s easy to see where your food comes from. That’s enough. You may feel the same about your community. (In my family we tease and say, “It’s the same but different.”)

Just last year the city of Oakland, California reversed a ban on the selling of home grown produce.  It was a law now considered a “relic of an era when cities wanted to distinguish themselves from rural areas.” This alone speaks of today’s trend. The political, social and environmental ties are endless. Kindling our “rural” roots may be equally significant.

 

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