New Brunswick

Northern N.B. farm tries honour system to sell veggies

Restigouche brothers ask customers at 'The Dancing Farmer' to take greens, leave cash

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The Dancing Farmer vegetable stall, located on Route 134 near Point-la-Nim, encourages shoppers to leave cash. The MacCurdy brothers say it beats having to pay a staff member to man the stall. (Bridget Yard/CBC )

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Two brothers from Point-la-Nim are selling vegetables from a stall at the foot of their hilly, sprawling property, and instead of manning it at all times, they let shoppers pick what they want and drop cash into a box, while they continue to farm the land.

The MacCurdy farm has been a fixture in the Restigouche region since the mid-1800s, but the brothers only started growing vegetables together a year ago.

'I just want to get food on people's tables, so I don't stress too much about it.' - Justin MacCurdy, farmer

"We have a little over three acres of mixed vegetables," said younger brother Jon

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Justin MacCurdy, the eldest of the MacCurdy brothers, built The Dancing Farmer vegetable stand. He says so far customers are following the honour system outlined on the wall. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

"We sell to local grocery retailers such as Foodland, Dumais Fruit and Vegetables in Campbetllon, and we have our roadside stand, and we're also at the Restigouche Farmer's Market in Dalhousie."

The grind leaves little time to man the vegetable stall, though elder brother Justin replenishes stock when needed.

"People are a little confused at times. They wonder where to pay and how it works, but conversation solves that problem," he said.

The Dancing Farmer stall was built by Justin using wood from the family's woodlot.

Prices are written on a chalkboard inside the stall, and customers are expected to follow the rules and drop cash into a box below the sign.

"It's always a concern but when I think about it, I just want to get food on people's tables, so I don't stress too much about it," said Justin MacCurdy

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Younger brother Jon MacCurdy has been growing vegetables on his own for several years, but teamed up with Justin recently. They sell to several local retailers and at regional markets as well as at their stand on the highway. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

The payment method was born out of necessity rather than charity.

The small, diversified farm is busy even without the stall. The brothers couldn't afford to pay someone to sell and oversee the vegetables.

The brothers sell radishes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, herbs, and several types of greens.

They plan to keep the stall in operation "for as long as possible," according to Jon MacCurdy

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