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In La Crosse, a rather basic (but effective) merchandising of locally grown produce.  You’ll find ad hoc stands like these all over Northern Florida, frequently in people’s yards.  The one in La Crosse is a more sophisticated version, featuring some cheerful signage and a clue to the sound of the local dialect.

Although the orange is as associated with Florida as maple syrup is with Vermont, the fruit is not grown above the frost line.  Potatoes, onions, corn, collard greens, peanuts (for boiling), strawberries, tomatoes, and  peaches are, and this is what you’ll encounter at the roadside stands.

Most stands will be found on back roads that pass through small towns.  Given the distance between Florida’s major cities (i. e. Gainesville is separated from Jacksonville by 90 miles and from Orlando by 105), many opportunities exist to discover this unsung piece of Florida that has far more acreage than all of Florida’s major cities put together.

To venture off the interstate by five miles is to find the Florida that does not suffer from overcrowding or from the excited selling of the American Dream.   This hidden Florida seems immune to the encroachments of developers, and its places are named for their cash crop (Peach Orchard, Spuds) or for their most illustrious resident (Heijahs Town, formerly King Heijah’s Town and named for King Hachy), or for displaced Northerners (Yankeetown) or for their largest resident demographic (Gopher Ridge).   For those who choose to stop and look, they are waypoints of the true Florida experience.

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