Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eat A Peach

We love doing our best to support local food.  Be it cooks, growers, producers or sellers, we like to help out our neighbors in Western New York.  But there is a dark side to this trend.

Let us start with this story. There is a place not far from here where we used to take the kids to pick pumpkins every October.  They got to walk in the fields and find their  perfect pumpkins. There were also some farm animals to watch. As time went by, the pumpkins were pre-picked, and higher priced.  The Corn Maze appeared.  And the gift shop opened.  And we stopped going.

This is the curse. We want the kids to get out in the fields and pick stuff.  Period. I know they need profits, but some of these folks are giving U-pick a bad name.

We went to pick peaches.  It was a bad sign that there was a gift shop. Oh, and an ice cream parlor.  We were provided with baskets, and a wagon and headed to the orchard.  There were big signs pointing to the U-pick area.  We picked.  The peaches looked better on the other non-U-pick side. Tuff nuts, we picked some there too.  I will admit we had some sticker shock at the price of a bushel.

Then we went to pick some berries. Another bad sign - in addition to the large gift shop there was a hamburger/hot dog stand and a mini amusement park with a farm theme, including tricycles painted to look like John Deere tractors.  We paid 25¢ a piece for picking baskets and wandered into the fields.  Lot's of berries in many varieties.  None of them ripe.

I was so pissed that I skipped a planned visit to my friends at Leonard Oakes.  We just went to Krull Park and had a picnic lunch.

Too add insult to injury, my wife stopped at a nearby farm stand for some corn for dinner (the best we've had this season).  They had local peaches picked by someone else at less than half price that we paid to pick our own.

As for pumpkins, we have found a roadside source with what I call a "We Trust You" box for payment.  Can't pick your own, but the price is right.  This year I will ring the doorbell to say thank you, or at least leave a note.

I'd tell you where it is, but I don't want to find a gift shop there!

{queue the Allman Bros.}

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -