I grew up in Lancaster County, and just like any person who spends most of their life in a certain area, you start to take the amazingly unique qualities of that area for granted. Lancaster County is well known for the Amish, the beautiful farmland and the quality products of that farmland. You will never convince me that you can buy better “sweet corn” outside of Lancaster! Drive down any country road and you will see farms and individual homes that are selling an abundance of fruits, vegetables and flowers that they cannot eat or use themselves. Many farms also have “Pick-ur-own” gardens during certain times of the year.
While on a drive with my kids the other day, I stopped to pick up a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers from one of these road-side stands. There was no one working at the stand but there was a tin box to place your money. One of my kids asked if I got the flowers for free since there was no person there to take my money. I explained that the flowers were being sold on the honor system, so you simply put your money into the tin and take whatever it was that you were purchasing that day. He then asked what happens if someone just takes something and doesn’t pay for it. Well, that led into a great discussion on the importance of honesty and trust! :)
After purchasing my flowers, I started thinking of all of the stands in the area that have the honor system set up. Within a five minute drive of my home, I have spotted over a dozen. Each of these stands is drastically different from the next.
One in particular (Hess Farm on Clay Rd in Lititz) , has quite a variety of items for sale. Corn, potatoes, whoopie pies, firewood and eggs. It’s almost a “one stop shop”! Most of the stands do change their products based on whatever happens to be in season.
Almost all of the stands are cash only, but after reading the sign at Hess farm they do take checks. They also supply a scratch pad for doing your math :)
With so many stores and shops today using modern technology for surveillance and security, it is refreshing to see these stands conduct business based on the simple principles of honesty and trust. It’s also a great way to support the local farmers and to even have an unplanned conversation with your children about some important life lessons! This is another of those amazingly unique qualities that I get to enjoy every day living here in Lancaster County.