<1>When I was a small child, I worked on a Maine farm with my parents, three older brothers in Aroostook County.
Part of my job as a young grasshopper was picking vegetables, fruits, produce we grew and sold at a Maine farm road side stand. Working with the motoring public was an eye opener as a lad.
The lady with the expensive shiny, squeaky clean, heavily chromed car was often difficult.
Snarky, not in the best of moods to deal with in her Maine farm stand purchases. The driver of a not so new, multi colored fender ride burning oil, needing a muffler was a joy.
And maybe too free with her money that the car would need to keep running. On the road and getting a new vehicle inspection sticker glued to the inside of the windshield. With a new notch cut out of it to be legal.
The lady in the Rambler, Studebaker, Desoto, whatever brand happy with her purchase of fresh Maine farm veggies, fruits. Highly content, humming a song and smiling. With the quality, but also the baker’s dozen of thirteen philosophy we add to the cash and carry trading of what we grew on the Maine farm.
Now it seems instead of just offering close to home, grown local Maine farm fresh foodstuffs, the lowest price, an experience above and beyond helps in the marketing.
To hold your own or increase the bottom line tale of veggie sales. So instead of the old days of picking a trailer load of pumpkins and placement in one place behind the big front door of the farm barn. The public would rather take a ride. Hop up into the wagon. Lead by a jovial guy wearing overalls, a sun shading straw hat. With a blade of long grass perched, dangling out of the corner of his mouth. As he adjusts, pulls the throttle level a couple notches. To increase the “put put put” speed of the narrow front end iron horse pulling the wagon out back.
Smiling, navigating the antique Maine farm tractor down the winding, twisting field road to the patch beyond sight of the Maine farm buildings.
Destination the rear forty acres. To strawberry fields going on forever. High silk topped rows of soldier straight green corn stalks. All aboard for the deal direct at the source. Coming up, raised from the good Earth. Rich soil rocks removed each spring. The Maine land worked, tilled, fertilized. Seeds planted and tended to produce the loving bounty of hopefully a big yield crop harvest.
The personal escort to the farm field in Maine. For the helping, involvement in the picking the cream of the crop. Just the one you want, that is still hooked to the vine. Fresher, there is not to be found than that. Ground zero. From the very source, selecting not just any old pumpkin, blue hubbarb or acorn squash from a pile. But picking the apples of your eye that are reached up to rip from the tree connection. Plunked for the filling up the basket or bag to carry back to the Maine farm tally it up, check out.
No just any produce from the boot scoot and boogie from the Maine farm.
But the best of the patch in your personal humble opinion. Having it your way without donning the paper crown with flat illustrated jewels adorning it around the rim. For filling, being king, queen for the day.
People want choices. Have so many options today unlike back in Henry Ford’s beginning days. Where you had selection of just one color of tin lizzy or lizzie. Basic black. Where ice cream was vanilla plain. Maybe a handful of grape nut seeds strewn in the hand churned home made ice cream.
Was it easier when there was less money to fuel the eenie meenie miney moe?
Not needing to be entertained, everything to be fun and light, bright delightful. Just happy to have whatever was delivered, offered to you. Like at meal time, this is what we are having. Mom was not a short order cook with a three plastic coated fold out menu of other options to fit your fancy. If your nose turned up, head swiveled away. And oh oh. Here comes a picky eater when it raised its ugly head.
To please the taste buds. Dulled by too much snacking out of boredom not hunger. Just prior to the sit down for tonight’s special of the day. Prepared in the Maine farm home pantry and placed before you made with many loving hands. And you were grateful to have it served up, just available to dine on. To satisfy the deep down hunger worked up from laboring, using energy and burning up the calories. On a Maine farm where you worked hard, respected the labor process, appreciated all you received from the toil.