Every year, this time of year, when I step outside seeming to waken from a dream, I notice the leaves have suddenly lost that glossy green and traded it for the lavish, marvelous rich tones of a Fall Fashion Week. It is as if a clock goes off in my head and I know it is time. So gathering up my most productive errand list of excuses, I steer the car firmly toward my annual pilgrimage to a little burgeoning road side farm stand known as Crow Farm. The very first place on Cape Cod I ever set my eyes on was Sandwich, Massachusetts and Crow Farm is on a bend of Route 6A, the Old King’s Highway, in Sandwich. There is nothing so deliciously, New Englandishly quaint in all of America as this tiny little town. This was one of the first places settled in the Colonies, being mere steps from the original landing place of the Mayflower. They settled, and there are signs reminding us of that fact (Thickly Settled) to which my surfer-girl youth needed a translation to decipher. But that was so many years past. With those years gone and layer upon layer of New England firmly embedded in the very fabric of my brain, I head like a migratory bird straight over to make my yearly purchase of cranberries and fall Home Decor. There it stood, as it has done for uncounted years, Crow Farm Stand. Makeshift signs, pumpkins and colorful mums unnecessarily decorate the heartwarming scene. The beech tree has embarrassed itself to the shade of a ripened peach. The cranberry bogs in the distance are ruby red. The sun is golden yellow and shining its last rays of warmth of the day. A perfect Fall Fashion Show.
The trick is to make it out of the tiny make-shift vegetable stand without bringing home half of the store. Margaret, the Farm wife is good enough to load up a table daily with cherry, blueberry and apple pies along with blueberry bread loaves. They are stacked up like a wedding cake on several tiers. Then of course is the back shelf that is lined with farm made local jams, jellies and honey. John, the farm hand, decked out in his one piece tan Dickie with the corduroy collar and earth stained hands was just having his last sip of coffee after delivering the last of the potatoes. The nice curly headed woman behind the counter asked him if he was sure he didn’t want a Cherry Pie before he left. I had to stifle the urge to say I would be glad to take it for him. Instead I wandered around the room admiring the perfect carrots and sweet potatoes. I chose the 5 pound bag of cranberries along with a butternut squash and a sack of Macoun apples and dumped them all on the counter, eying the pies that were nearly screaming at me to buy one. Remembering my Fall decorations, I added a bright orange mum the color of fire, a deep red one that reminded me of Lindsay Wixon’s lipcolor in the Moschino Cheap & Chic Spring runway show and a snowy white one that was not unlike the entire collection of Dolce & Gabbana SS2011 in Milan. And because I was daring and really beginning to get into the spirit, I added one large and 3 tiny orange pumpkins the exact color of the new Hermes Birkin that I am going to someday buy.
I loaded the day’s spoils into the trunk of my car and spied John the farm hand, just leaving in his pickup, requisite yellow lab faithfully by his side. As a little breeze sped in front of the stand, a million little yellow leaves flew off the beech tree like a flock of birds released from a cage, swirling into a tiny zephyr before scuttling away down the road. I resolved to make chocolate cranberry bars and butternut soup after decorating the porch. There is something so comforting about this yearly trip. Next time I will get the cherry pie.