There are lots and lots of different kinds of farm stands. Some are unattended carts or enlarged lemonade stands with an honor box, and others are farm sheds with a high-school kid sitting behind a counter. Some have a very specific focus, while others aspire for a much broader reach. Sometimes it can feel like you're walking into an out-and-out supermarket.
The point is that one rule might not fit them all.
That said, there are certain guidelines, best practices, and general etiquette pertaining to farm stands. Here's what you need to know.
1. Bring small bills.
While farmers markets these days often take credit cards, chances are quite a bit slimmer that the roadside stand will accept your American Express — or have change for a $50. If you know you're planning to stop by a few farm stands on your way out to your country cabin, bring small bills.
2. Don't take all the corn.
I ask you: Why would you need that much corn?
3. Handle the produce with care.
It's perfectly acceptable to assess the produce. And, if the stand is attended, you should certainly ask the farmer about what's recent and what they're excited about.
But there's a difference between smelling produce and squeezing it. And squeezing and putting it back is just bad manners.
4. Haggling is OK — to a point.
If you think that $8 for a pint of blueberries is high, go ahead and speak your mind, but before you do so, think about what's fair to your budget and what's fair to the farmer's work.
5. Make a point to have a chat.
Behind every farm is a story — and it's probably a good one.