We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, May 26. 2013
Honor Systems, re-posted
At dinner Friday night I was chatting with a lady about all of the farm stands that were here in Connecticut when I was growing up. Every truck farm had one: a rickety structure on the roadside with a little dusty space to pull up on, with baskets of eggs, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, red and green peppers, cut flowers, potatoes, apples. melon, raspberries, blackberries, turnips, bundles of fresh herbs, honey, dried strawflowers, giant Sunflowers, squash, pumpkins, corn stalks for fall decorations - whatever was ready that day.
Business, if steady, was never sufficient to justify manning these roadside booths. They usually had the prices written on pieces of cardboard, and one of those large mason jars to leave your money in.
The nice lady told me that Holbrook Farm in Redding, CT still uses the honor system, but not during the height of the season when things are too busy. Hearing that cheered me very much.
No spy cameras either - just good old-fashioned American country-style trust in one's neighbor. I do not think I would like to live in a place where a shop could't have an honor system, but I guess credit cards and sales tax collection complicate things these days.
Collage below from the Holbrook Farm site -
Trackback specific URI for this entry
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
It is nice to know that somewere out there a place like this still exists and long may it do so.
I remember them. There was a local egg farm that also had an honor system.
Lived in Alaska for just over a year and the only summer I was there I experienced the same thing. Baskets of produce and a basket to place the cash.
It left an impression...a lovely one at that.
That is really nice, B. I'm glad you took the trouble to photograph it all. It's a real feel-good thing.
Loved that place. I used to live in Ridgefield. The Redding border ran through the little pond in our backyard.
That's a happy happy dog, all flaked out and breathing softly in his sleep. Who knew he could kill chickens and cats, if he wants to. Probably doesn't, though. He looks too sweet.
A nearby town has a pharmacy that has New York Times's stacked outside the front door before it opens, and if you watch on Sunday morning, the stack grows smaller and the pile of money on top grows larger until they open.
Here's a gardener's stand this afternoon
but it is a little off purity because it says "honor system." The fact is more correctly left as self-evident, as this stand does in 2005
It's something of an insult to mention anything but fair dealing would occur to you as possible, but maybe the gardener thought a city guy might drive past.
Correct would be to put out a plastic box and seed it with money.
Chickens: here's my Doberman with the rooster, a couple of days ago
"No chasing the rooster" is just one of the house rules.
The rooster is feral, dropped off in the night a couple of years ago by some egg farmer who found he didn't need that many roosters, I suppose; the rooster just decided this is where he lives, and, as they say, comes home to roost.
Cute picture. The dog looks to be checking on the rooster to see if it might chase him.
Nice to see the floppy ears on the Doberman. My ex is a veterinarian and he won't dock the ears. I wonder if docking ears is no longer done anywhere.
This pick is from a small farm down the road in Wilton on Rt 53 which also uses the honor system.
Also most of my pics are from redding
There was a place down the road from my aunt that had a hand bell and a sign to ring if you wanted more of something, the honor system part was understood. When visiting, we kids were sent down to buy the veggies for dinner, and 'a nice pie if she has one'.
I love buying produce at these places in northwest NJ. Some of them are on seldom traveled back roads. They can't make any money - but the sweet corn and veggies are great.
Honor system farm stands are all over the place in Pennsylvania Dutch country, though rarely seen elsewhere in the state. Though the Amish take care to remove the goods on Sunday, no Sunday sales allowed. Lots of non-Amish do the same with their stands, too.
up here it's still the norm; the only farm stands that are actively staffed are the one run by the inmates at the county farm (yea, we really do have one) and the stalls in the weekend farmer's markets
also popular is bundling up a bit of cordwood and then placing the bundles roadside with a sign reading DRY CAMPFIRE WOOD or some such all on the honor system
i purchased my current home in '01 at the closing table the older couple we bought it from were mortified "we haven't used the keys in so long we just couldn't find them! please have a locksmith install new locks and send us the bill"
most of you can probably understand that it is a HUGE point of pride that i have never once locked my door, don't even have the keys to do it with (would you leave your home open and unattended for a 2 week vacation? i do it every year)
you might be able to drag me back into city life, (grew up in boston) but i can't imagine how
The honor system is alive and well at the Arnosky Farm and Market in the Texas Hill country. They have a BIG BLUE BARN. I love to go there when I am in the area.
Their website: http://www.texascolor.com/
I can think of at least four in my town/neighbouring towns (Litchfield County, Ct) that operate on an honour system some or all of the time.
just good old-fashioned American country-style trust in one's neighbor.
Maybe. The farm family at the corner of the road I lived on in MA was having a bit of a feud with the boys living a bit down the road, and had their own boys out with shotguns to guard the place Halloween night. Ah, those were the days, MA used to be a civilized place.
Same thing here in Wisconsin: http://class-factotum.blogspot.com/2010/08/wisconsin-101-honor-system.html
--if every picture was the same scale, that rooster would be the only thing left alive