by Jancey Smith, contributor
While the “Farm to Table” concept has become popular in cities, in Gibson County, grabbing goodies out of the garden goes on daily throughout the summer. When traveling the county, you’ll also find family-owned produce stands that offer the freshest local foods.
Traveling north from the south of the county, just past the beautiful historic St. James Church, there is Tenbarge Farm Stand. The family not only has fresh produce but also offers locally raised beef and eggs.
Continuing north through the quaint towns of Haubstadt and Fort Branch you may want to stop for lunch at Zack’s Diner or R’z Café and Catering, or check out unique local shops like the Brickhouse Boutique or Graceful Lady Boutique before continuing toward Owensville on Hwy. 168. There is another family produce stand that specializes in not only your typical garden fare, but fresh fruit as well. Thomas Family Acres has orchards with peach, pear and apple trees. Homemade jams and jellies are a standard feature.
To the northwest of Owensville, along Old State Road 65, the produce trail continues with local farmers offering surplus items at roadside stands. One of the most popular among the locals is Ritter Farms. This retired high school teacher has a few greenhouses, a variety of crops and their stand is kept busy from spring and strawberry season through summer with melons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, corn, a variety of peppers and much more.
Gibson County is filled with history, and just around the corner from the Lyles Station Historic School and Museum, Legacy Taste of Garden is located. This family farm stand has soil that is displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D. C. The legendary produce stand is famous for watermelons but offers so much more.
For those not interested in country drives or the scenic route, Berry’s Produce is located in the center of Princeton and brings produce to the locals without a trip to the country. They offer a wide variety of produce as well as honey, Amish noodles and other local favorites.
Throughout the county there are other produce stands offering their goods from Decker’s U-pick berries in the northern section to other little stands on side streets and country roads. Homegrown tomatoes and sweet corn are local favorites but there’s plenty of goodness from the garden to share with others and share we do. Come visit and see for yourself.