Autumn Authenticity

Photograph of Wind Swept Meadows farmstand, Watertown NY

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit and reconnect with loved ones and experience the familiar and calming atmosphere within my hometown. While it felt out of the ordinary at first, I quickly adjusted and became reacquainted with my surroundings. I was overjoyed to make a stop at the biggest “tourist-spot” nearby at our local cider mill. Nothing beats a bag of fresh apple cider donuts first thing in the morning. And of course, this trip had to include getting a few classic snapshots of the rushing waterfall just behind the building. The cider mill wasn’t always such a highly regarded establishment; its growing popularity certainly alters the authenticity of the environment. Evidently, this has little observable impact on the love the community shares for this fall-filled favorite.

In significant contrast, just a few short minutes from all of the hustle of the mill is an independently owned farm stand along the edge of the road. Wind Swept Meadows Farm, as photographed, is well known for their wide variety of homegrown produce, as well as flowers and fresh baked treats, all of excellent quality. Not only does buying from personal stands benefit the growers, but it also shows support of the locavore movement and promotes nutrition and small-scale agriculture. One of the main aspects of this stand that I personally adore, though, is the trust system established with the public. As opposed to having constant watch to ensure all is payed for, the roadside stands in my hometown run solely the principle of honesty. This stand specifically always has a small notebook and pen sitting out alongside their metal tin for visitors to pay and record the goods they purchased. All in all, this just goes to show the impact that the public can have on a given environment. Despite this, the simplicity maintained in this single farmstand is implicit of so much more regarding the true genuinity of individual experience.          — Michaela