Drive-through Veggie Stands?
CONTRIBUTED BY CAYLN PAQUIN
Here in Okinawa, we don’t have as many drive-through businesses as in the US, especially when it comes to fast food restaurants. Not that we need them because aren’t we all trying to eat healthier? So for a change, why not a different kind of drive-through… well almost a drive-through for healthy foods we should have more of – VEGETABLES.
Have you ever notice any vegetable stands by the side of the roads you travel? Every morning when I drive my son to school down route 29, I pass these simple veggie stands. If you look around them, you’ll see a little farm or plantation close by, if not right behind them. I am pretty sure the vegetables are organic even without any fancy bags or stickers or signs. These farmers put out their harvest every morning in bags or cling wraps. The variety and quantity depends on what they collect that morning but they are FRESH as fresh can be.
Why do I call it a drive-through? Well, I often see people pull up right by the stands. So the day I decided to stop and look at them up close, I actually got to drive up to 2 of them and left my car running while I checked them out. I didn’t have much yen with me so I had to restrain myself from buying too much that morning. The vegetables were clean-looking and packaged neatly. Since then, I stopped once when a seller was putting out her produce. She smiled at me and said something in Japanese. I smiled back and said sorry I don’t understand in Japanese and since she didn’t have garlic out like I saw the week before, I said thank you and waved good bye.
The farmers or sellers were not at any of the stands I went to on my first visit but behold, at every stand, there is a pad-locked box chained to the stand. Every stand has 100 yen signs on them which mean every packaged produce is 100 yen each. One of them even has a sign in English saying there are surveillance cameras. I chose a cabbage at one stand and a bag of eggplants at another, put 100 yen each in their lock-box, took some pictures and left with my goods.
So if you past these stands often, check out what they have before you go to the grocery stores. You might change what you are going to put at the dinner table when you see those fresh vegetables.
Payment: Exact change in yen recommended.