Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roadside produce

One reason that I love autumn in Utah is the abundance of fresh produce for sale roadside.

There are many gardens and orchards with an abundance of goodness as well as corn and pumpkin patches.  The gardeners merely set up a venue along the roadside for sharing their excess.

My favorite roadside buy this year were these apples purchased from a very special "family history" orchard.  As we drive the 89 Highway south to Arizona we pass through Glendale.  It was here that Mormon pioneers chased out of Nevada over disputed boundaries and high taxation finally settled.  My ancestor, Warren Foote, built a home and planted an apple orchard in the late 1800's.  His home burned to the ground in the early 1900's, but there are still apple orchards between the current highway and the east fork of the Virgin River.

We spotted the sign from the highway, "Apples for Sale."  We U-turned, drove up the dirt driveway, and found a wooden picnic table under an ancient tree on which rested boxes of apples.  There was a glass jar on the table with a slit cut in the tin lid as well.  The sign gave the prices for different quantities of apples and left it up to the purchaser to slip their cash through the slit.  We didn't have much small change and didn't really need a whole box of apples (definitely organic grown and a bit wormy) so we just dug out a few of the best looking and dropped in our change.

When Warren Foote (great grandson of the first Warren) took us on a tour of family history sites at a reunion in 2003, he indicated that the first Warren's home stood where a small older motel now stands.  The picnic table under the ancient tree sat next to that motel.  I want to believe that my apples came from the very old apple trees next to the dirt drive and that they might have been planted by the first Warren.

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