This is the time of year when I know that if I can’t think of anything else to do for dinner, I can at least take a run down to
and pick up some corn. A couple of ears of fresh corn on the cob can improve anything.
Our town may have its share of CEOs and suburban commuters, but we have one remaining farm and even if the owner is well into his eighties, you can still occasionally glimpse him out in the field on his tractor.
Eighteen years ago, when I moved here from the city, I delighted in the idea of stopping by after work to buy produce that had just been picked a few hours before. I’d go just past the elementary school and the ball field where the over-thirty league plays and pull my car slightly off the road. There’s nothing so fancy as an actual parking lot – this stand really is on
Today, all these years later, the proprietor is still often there on a plastic chair in the shade, shucking corn, and we’ll chat about the weather or I’ll ask how many more weeks we have to enjoy fresh corn.
Often, though, absolutely no one will be there. Oh, the corn will be laid out – two kinds, all yellow, or butter-and-sugar (yellow and white kernels) –
and the tomatoes are rowed up, and the zucchini sits waiting to be bagged, but it’s just me and my vegetable friends.
There might be a small stack of dollar bills held down by a rock and a variety of coins scattered nearby to facilitate making change, but there’s no proprietor or local teenager working the afternoon shift.
So, like everyone else in town, I count my corn, weigh my produce and check the chart to see how much to leave. I search out the correct change, drop my money in the same big metal drum and take home vegetables that have never traveled more than a half mile from where they first sprouted.