Road-side farm stands are a great American tradition. Farmers put their fresh crops out, and sell directly to customers. Everyone wins! There are plenty of families today that do what we did when I was a child - travel the secondary and blue highways living primarily off the local produce. I have gotten into great conversations with people at our own stand from as far away as California.
What surprises a lot of farm supporters and fresh food enthusiasts, however, is that not all road-side markets are the same. Many trucks that park in parking lots and put out farm stand looking set-ups are not selling their own food. Instead, they purchase the same food from the same regional wholesalers markets that supply Stop and Shop and other large food chains. What looks like Connecticut grown tomatoes, for example, may have been grown anywhere, and under any conditions, and transported thousand of miles.
What I hear again and again is that people like our CSA and road-side produce because they know it is grown the way they want it grown. In fact, whenever you visit our stand, you can see the fields right behind where the food was produced. And yes, sometimes when you visit it will be self-serve. That's because you really are buying from farmers, who have to head off and tend the fields. Not hang around in a parking lot.