8.22.2009

Farm stands

I love the fresh produce stands that crop up all over in the summer. On the weekends, you can find small roadside stands selling fresh fruit from Eastern Washington. Lots of neighboring towns have a Saturday market, where you can buy produce, crafts, and fresh flowers. Once the stands open up, I don't buy fresh produce anywhere else until the weather turns cold.

Yesterday we stopped at a farm stand in Enumclaw to get fresh-picked corn. This semi-permanent stand boasts fresh-picked corn, produce of all types, fruit from Eastern Washington, and homemade fudge. The stand is surrounded by produce gardens, and the corn fields are a stone's throw away. While I chose my tomatoes from an outside table, two employees were picking produce to replenish the tables. Another stand I like is near Covington. It's on a side road and not visible from the main road, and it's entirely self-serve. They post the prices, you choose what you want, and leave money in the jar. It's a great place for local tomatoes and zucchini.

My favorite produce stand is Carpenito Brothers, which has been in Kent for decades. In summer, I stop there on my way home from work to buy fresh corn, potatoes, and produce. Their corn fields are on the other side of town, and several times a day they haul in corn by the trailer-load, towed behind a John Deere tractor, right through the heart of town.

But Carpenito isn't just a produce stand. In the spring, it's the place for annuals and perennials, and beautiful baskets for Mothers Day. Their towering hills of bark and topsoil are a Kent landmark. In fall, you'll find pumpkins, squash, and chrysanthemums of every color. In winter, they sell Christmas trees and wreaths. They close down only in the early months, then the cycle begins all over again.

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