Driving home from my weekend away late this afternoon, I decided to take the slow road home. Rather than brave the traffic of Rt. 6, I veered off instead onto the winding lanes of 6A, through small town after small town as it grew dark until finally I reached my own.
There were a few stops along the way, of course; my companion was instructed to brake for any sign that promised local produce. At the mere hint of fresh corn or vine ripened tomatoes, we veered off the road into dusky parking lots or grassy roads.
Our first stop was Crow Farm in Sandwich. The fields were visible from the stand; always a good sign as some "farm" stands are just as likely to sell California avocados as they are Cape green beans. A tractor moved lazily through the rows, tilling for fall crops and readying the ground for a cooler season. A row of hot pepper plants (pictured above) sat outside alongside potted flowers and herbs.
Inside, produce abounded. We found sweet corn and green tomatoes, wax beans and peaches, swiss chard and green peppers and enough dried cranberries to last us several months. I picked up a book on cooking with honey and a bag of Sandwich ground cornmeal, and we headed on our way.
Next stop was Tobey Farm in Dennis. While outside was piled ear upon ear of fresh grown corn, inside the produce was from away beyond a pile of locally ripened tomatoes. As we already had both, we kept on driving.
We passed by Cape Abilities Farm—an excellent place to find hydroponic tomatoes, not to mention eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, corn, blueberries, and green peppers. Next we hit up the Farm on Main Street, a small stand in East Dennis that greeted us with the greatest find of all: locally grown yellow watermelons. In addition to the four we stashed in our backseat, we picked up several pounds of heirloom tomatoes in every shade from yellow to purple, and a bag of wax beans to snack on as we drove.
In Brewster it was Fran's Farm, a self serve berry stand, that merited a stop. Raspberries were past, but pints of sweet, fat blueberries lined the refrigerator. We slipped $12 into the cash register and left with two.
Finally, we met back up with Route 6 in Orleans and found ourselves home. While the detour had added an hour to our trip, it was certainly worth the wander. Tonight, we'll crack open a watermelon and toast to adventure.