The Alpha Blonde


This article was written on 02 May 2010, and is filled under fruit stands, Produce.

What is the best $1 you’ve spent today?

I made a nice little drive-thru adventure of the morning, mostly because my kids were going nuts and the allure of them being strapped into one place, contented by Imagination Movers music playing was just too great for a lazy Sunday.

So I offered to pick up coffee for my dad. And then I realized it was almost lunchtime, so we made a nuggets run- a bad choice, but with a bare pantry its all I could really do… and then I saw it.

My favorite fruit stand, usually closed whenever I happen to drive by it with a the OPEN sign proudly scrawled across the piece of scrap wood and propped up against it.

You know that kind of stand I’m talking about- the little shanty type store front propped up in front of a field brimming with multiple varieties of homegrown delight. I couldn’t resist- it is strawberry season and we have my son’s birthday party tonight.

So I bought the three cartons of gigantic, perfect strawberries for $5 and then I saw them… purple carrots.

I had heard about them and their tasty wonder from my mother in law, but at the grocery store you practically have to sell an organ on the black market to be able to afford specialty produce, even here in the produce capital of the f’n universe, and it’s hit and miss when they’ll show up on the shelves or if it’ll even be tasty.

But here they were, just picked this morning, dirt still clinging to the roots, the gorgeous plumes of green leaves dancing out of them like a teasing burlesque dancer’s fan. I got up the nerve and asked how much.

1 dollar.

A DOLLAR! My Starbucks Venti Iced Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte cost 4 times that and it didn’t look pretty enough to make my dad and sister jealous of my find when I waved it out my car window at them as I delivered their coffees.

A steal for a big bunch of carrots! Purple ones!

I got home, closed the doors and windows, looked shiftily around me to make sure no one was watching cleaned them off and without even removing the greens I just channeled my inner Bugs Bunny and took a bite.

Best dollar I’ve spent today, and probably all week. Bags of baby carrots, machined into their cute little finger shapes, have nothing on this. It was crunchy, perfect and so sweet. Each bite I took I marveled at the deep purple ring that bled into vivid orange in the middle.

I love living in Fresno.

(Image made by me. On my scanner. Because my daughter dunked my camera in the bath tub. I don’t wanna talk about it.)


  1. archop
    May 2, 2010

    Sounds really good. Reminds me that I have carrots to plant.

  2. Smokey Behr
    July 3, 2010

    You can't beat produce picked fresh out of the ground or off the tree or vine.

    I refuse to buy tomatoes in the store as long as I have them growing in the backyard. The hard Green Gassers have no flavor at all compared to what I pick straight off the vine. The big ones sliced with a little salt and pepper, or wedged with a scoop of cottage cheese is the perfect start to a beautiful meal. A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes thrown in a huge salad just make it come alive.

    I'm lucky that my aunt and cousins all live on farms where I can just pick my own fruit when I go out there. I'm spoiled for fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, and grapes.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.