On a small tree lined street in Sonoma, California where the houses sit surrounded by perfectly pruned roses and meticulously coiffed lawns a small vineyard welcomes visitors with a sign simply boasting, Figs.
Since moving here a decade ago the
Aside from the allure of the figs they sell, the honesty cash-box system the owners use to collect the minimal tariff for their crop is heart warming. It’s a sign of the way the world once was: A farm stand in the middle of town to be used as an example of good will and honesty. It’s a way of finding a niblet of peaceful quiet and serenity behind a simple fence of non climb wire keeping the rapid-fire world of high tech on the street side.
Staying true to your concept is vital in a world of change. Once you begin to stray suddenly the mold which has taken years to form begins to crack.
Oak Hill Farm has unequaled charm. It’s not a grocery store. Nor is it your typical farm stand. It’s a place, like that
Each year, I await their opening. Signs of spring come in a variety of forms. Day light savings time, Easter, the Sonoma Farmer’s Market, and Oak Hill Farm’s opening all are calendar milestones that signify summer’s intensity is fast approaching.
This year Oak Hill seemed to open later in the spring. April came and went and no Oak Hill. Farmer’s Market opened and still Oak Hill’s Red Barn wasn’t open. Finally in May the open sign went up. But when I walked into the Red Barn I sensed something had changed. Peering behind a new mini divided I saw it. A COMPUTER SYSTEM had invaded my favorite farm stand space. Has the world gone mad?
Oak Hill Farms- the organic
Hardly anti-computer, I am just skeptical of the virus that we all seem to be subject to. Computers are not the solution to all of the world’s problems. They certainly have their place. But for the sake of serenity and peace, let’s think about the functionality they offer and decide if we really need that in the food business before we make the investment on software and hardware that will never return a profit.
I know numerous restaurant owners- myself included- who drank the computer salesman’s Kool-Aid and purchased the elaborate system. It worked well for my 450 seat restaurant but failed miserably at my 20 seat general store.
Everything has a place. And, the smell of software doesn’t mix well with the organic nature of tilled soil.
When the Fig Stand goes high tech, I know the salesman will have made his rounds.