The Willowsford Farm Stand opened this week for the Summer season! It’s our favorite time of year to see this Willowsford landmark bustling with activity. While our Farm Stand may be unique with its location and hours, the history of roadside Farm Stands and markets goes way back before the founding of Willowsford.

Road-side stands have been a staple throughout modern history and the first modern farmer’s markets (think blocked off streets and tents) can be traced back to the World War II era, when farmers in California would sell their extra produce in cities. They would drive in early in the morning and set up in designated areas that had been blocked off by police. Selling out of the backs of trucks, farmers would sell out quickly, and word of mouth spread throughout the community. With rationing in full-effect, Farmer’s Markets became the easiest way to buy fresh produce and roadside Farm Stands began to boom across the entire United States. 

It’s not uncommon to see roadside Farm Stands when driving through rural (and sometimes suburban) areas. Our Farm Stand is a permanent structure, but many farmers opt for a more cart-like mobile version with wheels. Some stands operate on a cash box honor system, while others may have an attendant during operating hours and accept electronic payments. With the rise of social media, certain Farm Stands and Markets have gained cult-like followings and become a fun weekend destination for the surrounding area. There has been a recent uptick in micro Farm Stands: tiny covered structures that hold a single cooler, some shelving and a cash box, where families with backyard chickens or a bountiful garden sell produce in their own neighborhoods.

Now that the Summer season has begun, we invite you to visit the Willowsford Farm Stand often! In addition to selling our farm-fresh produce and eggs, we offer several events and activities throughout the season. Swing by to take a wagon ride farm tour, walk the Farm Loop trail or explore the Wet Meadow, grab a bite from our food truck partners and say hello to Farmer Deb! The Farm Stand is open on Thursdays from 4 PM – 7 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM – 1 PM, starting May 16th through October 26th. Check out our Events page to see our upcoming programming and Farm Stand Happenings.