You Really Can’t Make This Story Up…

Set out to gather local produce at Versailles Farm in Greenwich CT, I drove to where I thought the farm was…..

First mistake. This is what my route ended up looking like.

I didn’t bother entering the address in my car navigation because my mind said the farm was near the Westchester County Airport, near/around Sacred Heart or above it.

I moseyed that direction, backroads, scenic route, rather than taking 684 to the airport exit. It was a great day for a drive. Ha ha. Little did I know.

I got to where I expected Versailles to be but instead there was another farm stand there, Augustines.

Okay, that farm stand looked busy so I popped in. Long line of people getting corn on the cob, the owner behind the counter had control of the corn and was the only one allowed to dole it out. The people in front of me each wanted upwards of a dozen ears, one woman wanted 18. I only wanted two but by my turn there was only one ear left on the counter so the owner went in the back and brought out more. I got the two ears of corn @ $.75c each, four of their heirloom tomatoes, also a box of their heirloom cherry tomatoes, two jalapeño peppers, and the big head of romaine. They had celery but it looked awful. I decided not to take a photo because I didn’t feel comfortable doing that with other people around me.

The haul, $20.50. Seemed reasonable to me.

From Augustine’s:

While still in the parking lot, I figured I best ask my navigation system how to get to 56 Locust but yikes, it told me it would take me 27 minutes and the map looked simply crazy to me. I couldn’t believe my eyes and was tempted to tell the car I knew better, but hey, directions aren’t my jam, so I followed the car’s demands.

All the while I said to myself, self, this is insane. There’s no way Versailles Farm is in the center of Greenwich, but I didn’t know Locust Road by name, so I let myself be blindly led.

Here’s where it took me!! You Greenwich peeps can start howling now. Yes, there are two Locust Roads, but one must be in 06830 and the other, the farm in 06831.

I was laughing so hard I nearly peed in my pants, but wait, there’s more. Good luck from here finding a place to pull over. It wasn’t until I got out onto Putnam Ave that I could pull over and restart the navigation. The car was having trouble with this address and I made it worse by adding the zip code and it thought I wanted to go to Ossining.

Finally, finally, it showed me the right 56 Locust, and yes, you guessed it, it was right near where I thought it was and very near Augustine’s Farm.

Back I went. Over the hill and through the woods. Glenvile Street to King, past Augustine’s, right onto Bedford Road and what I thought would be an easy left onto Locust.

A giant Suburban was coming out of Locust at the wrong point, where I would have turned in. She smiled and waved to me because she knew she was in the wrong lane but at this point there was nothing I could do. I let her out but I had passed the point of being able to turn left myself. Soooooooooo, while the car is telling me Make a legal u-turn Make a legal u-turn Make a legal u-turn and I’m simultaneously trying to cancel the destination, I found I had an antsy pants Maserati behind me and the only place I could dart into was Cutler Road, which had some pretty nice houses so at least it was a decent detour. Phew.

Still with me?

I got to Locust , the correct Locust, (Susie, ask Gideon what the gigantic abandoned house is all about at the corner of Locust), and into Versailles Farm. I don’t know what I was expecting but when I came upon a little tent I wondered if I was supposed to be in a different part of the farm with more good stuff. I thought maybe I was so late getting there that all the produce was sold? Rookie that I am, I followed the other woman there shopping. She seemed to know what she was doing.

The man selling the produce asked me if I was with the B Group, or that’s how my mind interpreted his ask, but then I figured he was asking me if I was with the BEE group, so I said no, I was the Queen Bee. He laughed.

The tomatoes were not what I expected either. Flats of San Marzano tomatoes at $15/flat. I didn’t see any jersey tomatoes for sale even though the sign outside said they had them. They had what I would say was The Whole Foods equivalent of a farm stand. Really quality local goods, for sure, but just not what I think of as a farm stand. Honey.  Eggs. Activated charcoal, yes I bought some. I asked what it was for, was told it’s like a detox. I asked how one uses it and I got two answers. The woman next to me said she puts it in water. The guy at the farm stand said he just licks the top of the jar and mixes it with his saliva. Okay then. He added that he had too much to drink last night and the activated charcoal helped him settle his stomach. The woman said it would be the best $5.00 I would spend. I was too embarrassed at this point to say Thanks but no thanks, so I said, sure.

The dried shiitake mushrooms looked great, so too did the cukes, and it was suggested I get them for pickles. Add some garlic to the brine. Voila, pickles.

I got a dozen eggs. Thrown in free, because I guess I was a good egg, two acorn squash.

Honey, shiitakes, eggs, activated charcoal, a box of cukes…..$50 even. And that’s with two FREE acorn squash. I about fell over. I didn’t dare ask how he got there because no one else asked what things cost and while there might have been prices on certain things, I was so busy trying to get out of buying the activated charcoal, I didn’t pay much attention to details like the price.

Grand total for the day produce haul, $70.50!! For my money, I got exactly what I wanted at Augustine’s and should have quit while I was ahead and before I went on a wild goose chase. Beautiful farm tho, Versailles, just way out of my league. That was a once and done for me. Now to decide who to gift the activated charcoal to. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Easy peasy getting back to The Carraway. Hop on 684 south and bingo.

18 thoughts on “You Really Can’t Make This Story Up…

  1. Based on the art work I was thinking that you got something from Hunter.
    I see the charcoal is activated. Did the guy already do that for you with his spit?
    When this happens to me I like to make sure I’m wined and dined first.

  2. You did very, very well. When I was a kid there were farm stands all over the place. Now those farms grow McMansions.Corn sells for $1.00/ear. My small town hosts weekly farmers markets with Upper East Side prices. To give you an idea, I bought a blueberry pie for $32.00. I support one veggie and fruit vendor because I’ve come to trust her products more than others.
    Also gone from the local scene are stands that sold fried clams . You’d go up to the outside window and leave with a white cardboard box of clams, scallops, fries or onion rings.

    1. You make such good points. I grew up with an entire farmers market street on the weekends in downtown Wilmington. The street was closed to traffic. New Jersey and lower Delaware farmers brought everything. Just the best of the best. My mother went every week. The farm stands in Bedford are horribly expensive. I’ve bought the same $32 pie that wasn’t all that good either.
      The fried clam stands!! Had those on MVY!! With malt vinegar. Oh so good.

  3. The “abandoned house” you saw next door to that chichi farm stand is 170 Bedford Road, purchased by a person named Dedvukai Mirash. He paid $1,240,000 in August, 2017, for the 4.11 acres with a tear-down. He’s been constructing that mansion for at least 3 years, with activity rising and falling, depending on his bank balance?
    FUN FACT: The Russian flag flies alongside the American flag on most days here.

    I took a nice picture of it last week, but I can’t seem to add a photo in your Comments section.
    -Gideon Fountain

    1. Thanks for the skinny!!! I knew you’d have the full story.
      Dumb WordPress. Can’t add photos to comments. They get an F in that department. If the Russian flag was up today I didn’t see it because I was too busy trying to avoid the suburban coming out of Locust the wrong way.

  4. When I saw the first photo of your haul I figured you had been to both stands since I recognized the Versailles label but they don’t have corn or that type of tomato. Augustine’s corn is out of this world, usually, so be sure to enjoy it today. Versailles have their own hives, and my wife, a honey maven, thinks the honey is the best she’s had. Augustine’s have their own chickens, and I’d bet the eggs are less expensive than the Grey Goose ones. Enjoy the fruits of your labors!

    1. You’re smart! Only a Greenwich resident would know what you noticed. Good eye.
      The people in front me at Augustine’s, to a one, said the corn was excellent. I didn’t have plans to buy corn until (a) I saw it behind the counter and (b) I heard the wow comments. I didn’t see eggs at Augustines and didn’t know they have chickens but honestly I wasn’t thinking eggs and there were lots of people in the farm stand shed so I neither looked for nor saw eggs.
      I figured Versailles must have had their own hives when I was asked if I was part of the “bee group”. I love fresh local honey on my toast. The Grey Goose eggs are gorgeous. All beautiful colors. It’s only money!
      Tomorrow breakfast will be eggs, toast with honey. And maybe some activated charcoal. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  5. Activated charcoal was in the filters for Tareyton cigarettes. The ads made a big deal of it as I recall.

    1. Yes. Good memory. I didn’t know anyone who smoked Tareyton’s. My college roommate smoked Newport Menthol. Ugh. Most of the friends I had who smoked chose Marlboro. Back in high school, when smoking was allowed, there was a room where seniors could smoke. No one thought twice about it. The guys who went off up boarding school after 8th grade told me they only needed a note from their parent that they could smoke at boarding school. It was that prevalent then.

  6. Augustines once had a place way up on King Street. I wonder if they still farm up there/the same family. My mom knew those Augustines quite well, it was a regular trip every summer up King Street to their stand for corn.

    Didn’t need tomatoes, her parents and later her brother had quite the garden on 5 High Street in Byram. That house was since sold off by a cousin, then torn down for a condo.

    1. That’s where the Augustines I went to was, on King. Here’s a map.

      Neat that your folks knew them. In the farm stand shed was a photo of the couple back when they started the farm, in the early 1950s. From what I could tell, it was still the same couple. The husband hobbled. The wife behind the counter, a whiz at the calculator to add up a bill. Very cute, hardworking, twosome.

      1. If I remember correctly they used to have a stand in Port Chester for a number of years in the 1960s into the 1970s, corner of Poningo St. and Irving Ave.

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