Hidden Roadside Gems

When you travel, do a seek out the independent business or the nearest franchise in a strip mall? I’m betting on the former.

We dreamed up the farm stand at the end of our driveway when on a fall trip to Vermont in 2005, inspired by all the classic wooden stands you find there. Mar and I loved traveling through the beautiful New England countryside adorned with white farmhouses and cows against the autumn backdrop of golds and reds. We drove on these windy roads transporting us from one quaint town to another, all the while discovering these roadside gems like a farm that pressed cider or a farmstead cheese operation.  The whole scene reminded us a lot of….well, Otter Tail County, minus the all the cool farm stands.

Farm stand 8.13.18Since we loved the authenticity and picturesque quality of the farm stands of New England, we decided to build one seven years ago and we have applied that same thinking to everything else that inspires us. Lida Farm is built on the idea that we should just do what we want to see in the world. The world needs good, organic food…let’s grow it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a community event with food and music, let’s host a fall harvest party. Sauna, let’s build one. Raw milk, let’s get a cow. I know from talking to the many visitors to our area who come across our farm stand, that our stand now serves as their hidden gem when in lakes country and I’d like to think our local community is just a little bit richer from our efforts.

WARNING: TOTAL RANT BY RYAN. My biggest frustration in life is talk about how all the cool stuff happens somewhere else and we are just worthless consumers who have no agency and no means of changing ourselves. If only our community only had more businesses, more energy, more people, a bigger tax base, more grants…then we’d be great.  No, we don’t have to wait for some multi-national corporation or big foundation or leadership guru to build our community into something. We can do that and we are doing that! If you look around, appreciate the small and independent places that are making Otter Tail a really cool place to be.  Even better, if you have the energy to jump into an endeavor, just do it. The world will be all the better for it.

In the box:

  • Celery
  • Tomato mix
  • Flat-leaf Parsley
  • Trinity Bi-color Sweet Corn
  • Onion
  • Green Onions
  • Garlic 
  • Peppers
  • Yellow Satina Potatoes
  • Green and Purple Beans
  • Basil: Please don’t put into the fridge (it will turn black). Instead, treat like a cut flower…trim the bottom and put in a vase with water.


2 thoughts on “Hidden Roadside Gems

    1. Thanks for the note. I’ve certainly taken a peek or two at your own site since we first connected last year. Considering your love of farm stands, you may be interested in our current kickstater for a timber-framed collaborative farm stand we’re building: http://kck.st/2W0zw3g Please share widely – I think this is a good model and idea (without ever having tried it…:)) -Ryan.

      Liked by 1 person

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