As is the case with so many Old Mission Peninsula farm stands, you often have to get there early in the day to score some of that fresh produce. Because all those fresh-from-the-farm tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, etc. are in high demand, especially this year, when buying local and supporting our local farmers and businesses has taken on new meaning.
So every time we drive by Santucci’s Farm Stand at 12602 Center Road (across from the new Peninsula Community Library), I look to see if the “Blackberries” sign is out. If it’s out, we swing in there and – as Maxwell Smart would say – discover that we’ve “missed it by THAT much!” Someone has just bought the last quart of berries, and the Santucci’s haven’t had a chance to take the sign down yet.
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They do offer U-Pick, too, but to be honest, after growing up on a cherry farm out here and spending a good portion of my childhood picking things, I’ve reached the point where I’d just as soon stop by a farm stand, get the goods and be on my way.
Yesterday as we were driving by, the Blackberries sign was out, so I made Tim turn around and go back to get those coveted berries. But alas, someone had just bought the last quart of berries. I chatted briefly with Mrs. Santucci, and then we were on our way.
Flash forward to today. Tim took our little faux John Deere lawn tractor down the driveway to mow around our pond at the bottom next to Bluff Road. (I say “faux” because he and our son Will painted it “John Deere green” with yellow “John Deere” lettering on it when Will was a kid – it’s not really a John Deere).
And when Tim came back up the driveway, he brought me the best present – a quart of Santucci blackberries! Lou Santucci had caught wind of the fact that we’d been trying to score some of those luscious berries, and he hand-delivered a quart this morning as Tim was mowing around the pond.
Thanks so much, Lou! I love the Old Mission Peninsula! And the berries taste just as scrumptious as they look.
They also remind me of picking blackberries with my mom on our home farm just north of Mapleton (see note above about spending my childhood picking things). There was a big wild blackberry patch across from the barn and down the hill on the other side of the woods. That might be where the OMP mosquitoes learned to love me so much, which they still do to this day.
And by the way, you’ll also find other things at the Santucci’s Farm Stand, including raspberries, peaches and eggs in the little cooler there.