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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The stand

The sight of the potato stand brings a smile. It harkens back to a more innocent time, when you knew everyone in your community, relied on and trusted them. Now, traffic goes by with people from all over Prince Edward Island and beyond, from outside the neighbourhood and those one would know.


Traffic is so busy here, it is treacherous to stop and take a photo from the car. Yet, this potato stand appears every year when the harvest begins. The stand is opposite a farm on a two lane highway without much of a shoulder.




Such stands are an island tradition! Along the roadways or at the end of driveways,  farmers place their produce in stands, often as seen here, a wooden box with shelves. People stop, take a bag of potatoes and put money in the metal box. It is an honour system. The farmer is saying, "I have implicit faith you will leave money if you take the potatoes I have worked for months to grow.” 

And it works. 


On the rare occasion when it doesn’t, we hear about it on the evening news. Over this past summer, someone stole money and honey from a stand in Canoe Cove. No honour there. Still the practice continues and for the most part, without incident.


The world today is unsafe for many due to natural and man made disasters and tragedies. No wonder the stands make us smile.


40 comments:

  1. Farm gate stalls and an honesty box exist here as well. Fruit and veg, flowers honey, you name it the farmer sells it any way they can
    And yes, boo and hiss to the low life who try to get away with it on the cheap ~ Cathy

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    1. It's great to know the stands are used elsewhere, Cathy. It gives me hope for honesty and honour.

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  2. That's pretty cool: a feel-good sort of thing.

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  3. Sounds a great way to sell surplus food. We had a huge crop of potatoes off our small plot this year. I am sure we will get through them, but I feel sure that if I put a small stand here people would be honour bound in the country. Not so if we lived near a big town though.
    Love this post take care Diane

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    1. Small communities are different, Diane.

      Thanks, Diane.

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  4. It's always nice to see some honour left in this world somewhere.

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  5. There's still a few honesty box veg stands around here but nowhere near the number there used to be, partly because of dishonesty but more often because farms are much bigger concerns now and contract to supermarkets to sell them 100% of their produce.

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    1. I imagine there are less stands here than there used to be for the reason you describe, John.

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  6. I love the potato stands! It harkens back to a time when we were all working together for each other. I saw the same kind of produce stand on Vashon Island, based on an honor system which seems to work just fine. Marie, I just want to say once again how much I look forward to your posts, which buoy me up and fill me with peace. Thank you. :-)

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  7. Love this post Marie, we have to keep the belief that basically man is good!

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  8. At the end of my street is a dilapidated home with a new owner. The owner is undertaking improvements by himself, and making visible progress. The overgrown side yard is cleared, and a large garden installed. I have counted the residents as the man, a woman, a child. There is enough produce coming from the garden for, literally, an army. A picnic table and a canopy have been installed on the corner, and produce neatly arranged all summer. There still were tomatoes, yesterday, and pumpkins. In thirty years, I've never seen this in the township. It's lovely. And honor system, too.

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    1. It is wonderful to see a stand in an area, Joanne. Great news!

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  9. I have lived in a few different countries but have never seen such a thing except here in the US in a farm in South Dakota and now what you share here. It is indeed something of the old days. I am glad I am alive to see and hear about it. I so wish we could continue to be honorable people but my hopes are close to zero. Thanks for sharing this Marie!

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    1. Oh Angela. I hope people are better than we sometimes think. Otherwise, the world is such a sad place.

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  10. Great post Marie. I feel the same way every time I pass my neighbor about 4 houses removed. They are bee keepers and have honey for sale on their front porch. If they are going to be away they have a small sign that says "please put payment through the mail slot and many thanks."

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    1. Great news, Ginnie! Honour sought and delivered, along with honey.

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  11. trust and honesty seem to be becoming a dying art. Good to hear stories of where it is still alive. :)

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    1. It is good to hear of trust and honesty, SW.

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  12. Honesty boxes operated in at least one of our States. Mangos, avocado, fresh vegetables. I haven't seen them in a while, and hope they still exist. A positive symbol of a kinder, gentler time.

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    1. We need kinder and gentler in the world today, EC.

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  13. I love this. I hope this tradition continues and people can keep some faith in the honour system.

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  14. we have a lot of "honor system" farm stands and small family stands!! my favor places to get fresh veggies in summer!!!

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    1. That is wonderful, Debbie! It is not common in many other places!

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  15. Wonderful that this practice can continue. And I wish the bites of a thousand fleas to anyone who steals from a roadside stand. I remember buying blueberries from beside the road when I was in NL, just a bag of blueberries on a chair at the end of a driveway, take the blueberries and leave the money. This is how life ought to be!

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    1. Lol. I am still laughing at the fleas, Shammi!

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  16. What a wonderful tradition and hopefully it will continue. The concept is great, the times have change but there is still good in most people who will follow the honor system.

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    1. It is good to know that there is still honour in the world, Bill.

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  17. I have seen those stands here as well, Marie. It's a good feeling to know that people still trust and that people are still trustworthy.

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    1. So true, Jenny. Something to be positive about in these uncertain times!

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  18. I love ferns! (prior post). I bet those are good potatoes. Some of the store ones have little taste. Andrea

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    1. Some of the types of potatoes grown here are incredibly delicious, Andrea.

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  19. Wonderful tradition. How great the world would be if we could trust each other.
    :)

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  20. A few of those stands around here, most commonly on Mennonite farms.

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