Keep It Simple

When I stopped by our self serve apple wagon on Saturday, there was a van parked in the road, with eight Jr high girls milling around  and a mom trying to take their picture.

The mom said to me….”So you’re the guy who always wished he could have had a lemonade stand when he was growing up?”

Her question took me off guard,  then it dawned on me, she’d read the instruction sheet on the apple wagon:


General Instructions

This is a self-serve stand because…

  1. We trust you
  2. We’re busy
  3. Inside of me lives a little boy who always wished he could have had a lemonade stand.

     We  do spray so make sure you wash the apples before you eat them.

The apples are $1.50 a pound, just put them on the scale leave your $ inside the chicken.

There are plastic bags in the hanging dispenser if you need them.

Thank you for your business! DM’s Orchard


The wagon and how it’s run does several things for me.  It is a social experiment…. I am convinced the majority of people today will live up to your trust in them if given a chance.  And that trust is validated week in, week out, where I live, and has been for the past five years.

Second, I like to mess with peoples heads and challenge their ability to trust the next guy.  Here’s how it works:   When you buy apples off the wagon, you stick your money  in an un-attended peanut butter jar, sitting inside a metal chicken 🙂

If you’re like me, you’ll probably think as you drop your money in the jar…

What about the next person ??? Can they be trusted to leave that $5 or $10, or even $20 bill alone when they stop?  And the answer is most of the time yes.

Finally,while yes, we can most definitely use the income from the apple sales, at the end of the day, this is a hobby for me.  This is a fun way for me to spread a little serendipitous joy in a world that is seriously in need of it. There is more to life than the almighty dollar.

Here is a picture of some Cortlands after going through the antique polisher equipped with horse hair polishing brushes that you will find on the wagon:


I didn’t know this until just last year.  Apples naturally have a wax on them but due to the way  commercial orchards process apples, many times that is removed and an artificial wax is reapplied.

I like to keep it simple.

Simple is good.





22 thoughts on “Keep It Simple

    • Thanks Victo! Hummm…a camera would be fun (if I had one that was really working and could not be seen.).with audio too. think it would make for some fun viewing. Bet there is such a thing…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wish you lived closer too! Would love to sit down over a cup of coffee and visit. Let me know when the galette is ready..what is it by the way? It sounds good 🙂


  1. Awesome story! I like to think of most people as honest as well. When I take eggs to work I leave them in the back near my toolbox when I leave. When I come in the next day, or after a day off – if all the eggs are gone I’ll see money piled on my toolbox. Random customers who know I usually bring eggs to work. I also have a few customers that know to simply come get the eggs for free – not everybody has a well paying job, or sometimes they have no job. Years ago we used to travel a distance to a farm to pick up grain. Ours would be in bags labeled with our name (along with several other orders) and we knew to ‘leave the money or check in the box in the barn’. Being a part of ‘the honor system’ always makes a person feel good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it empowers people when they are trusted. (You know that from raising kids). We travelled around the country this year, and I still found this honor system in place in many areas, there was a small shop in our suburban Chicago that still does that, there are strawberry stands in California where you just place cash or checks in the drawer – WITH the access to the full drawer of cash!, and here in Vermont where we are based now, I find a lot of honor system places.
    Enjoy the apple season! ( I do!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like how you put it..”empowering people” I do sense that something important is happening, but have never put it into words quite like that. I’ve never been to Vermont..although it conjures up good feelings when I think of Fall in Vermont.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just catching up on all comments. Yes, colors are starting to turn. The mountains with sugar maples and covered bridges of New England are incredible. We came here a few weeks back, and I never want to leave…(well, not till winter hits anyway) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A variation on the theme is my practice of never asking for money up-front in my work. Since materials costs are minimal, I’ve always just offered a quote, and, if it’s a large job, agreed for progress payments at certain points. It’s amazing how peoples’ attitudes change. Many — if not most — have had the experience of shelling out money and not receiving service, or getting the job done on a very, very extended schedule. In a way, not asking for those up-front payments is a way of saying, “I trust that you’ll pay at the end.” It makes a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you Linda..I also see this dynamic of building trust when I’m bidding on a remodel job (or harvest table) when the trust breaks down, then all sorts of tension and stress starts to happen.


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