My Favorite Farm Stand : Fruit des Vignes

My Favorite Farm Stand: Fruit des Vignes

A garden on wheels

I have passed by Fruit des Vignes many times, but for some reason, I’d never been in. Last Friday, I changed that.

After finishing a short forest hike, Ben and I made our way back to the car. The day was warm, the asphalt soaking up the heat of the afternoon sun. A sparkling water sounded good. We made a pit stop at this little farm stand on wheels.

All About the Ambiance

You know when you go on a long road trip, and you’re longing to stop at the local farm stands? There’s something about the smell… a mixture of freshly picked herbs, dirt and warm hearths. It’s one of those things I can’t quite put my finger on, but can conjure up in my mind.

My first job was in a health food store, and the smell is similar. Something about the bulk bins… It’s amazing how smells can transport you to a different place and time, and it’s one reason I long for those short, unexpected stops on the road. This one just happens to be a few miles down.

The door stands ajar to the Fruit des Vignes farm stand on Vashon, Washington.

Fruit des Vignes felt like a sentimental memory, though I’d never been. Big Band tunes drifted through its wide open door, adding to the southern wrap-around-porch charm. The only thing missing was a rocking chair and pitcher of sweet tea.

I’m a sucker for ephemera – whether it be old photos, antiques or classic tunes. Vintage things feel like conduits to simpler times. With its yellowed books and antique cookware, Fruit des Vignes carved out space in my old-soul of a heart.

Imperfect produce, potatoes and Walla Walla Sweet Onions sit in bins at the Fruit des Vignes farm stand.

Bountiful Produce

That’s a lot for a farm stand, I know. Apart from the vintage feels, Fruit des Vignes actually has a great selection. Truly, there’s a lot to take in. Bins are filled with potatoes, sweet onions and imperfect produce. Two refrigerators preserve freshly cut flowers, herbs and, lucky for us, sparkling water. (We picked the Black Cherry + Coffee flavor. Sounds weird. Tasted great.)

Aside from the bountiful produce, the place is stocked with a variety of shelf-stable goods. Pastas, pita chips, protein bars and more stand at attention, ready for your hungry eyes. (You’re welcome.)

And then there’s the books, kitchenware and plants. We walked away with a beautiful hummingbird feeder for only $3. Ben had to stop me from buying more – it’s hard to say no to those great deals!

While it’s surely a farm stand, Fruit des Vignes felt more like a small neighborhood market where you could grab those last-minute items you forgot at Thriftway. And while you’re at it, you can pick up that “Chicken Tractor” book you didn’t know you needed.

If for nothing else, it’s a great stop on your next Sunday drive. You can easily spend 20 minutes looking through its shelves of knick-knacks, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have the place all to yourself.

Ben runs a tomato under fresh water at the Fruit des Vignes farm stand.

The Process

The stand provides fresh water to wash your produce, as well as really great lighting to take some dramatic tomato photos. We wrote down what we’d taken, and placed our little list in a box.

This is one of the few farm stands that accepts Venmo and Square. For someone who rarely has cash on hand, this was a life saver.

The process isn’t completely dialed in, but owner Dave was nearby to lend a hand and offer colorful island stories. Fruit des Vignes normally opens in April, but due to COVID-19, he just opened its doors a few weeks ago.

Some days, Dave makes fresh sandwiches and grilled zucchini treats. “If we have it, it’ll be on the board.” Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t . All the more reason to return sooner rather than later. I’m already making room on our shelves.

Learn more about Fruit des Vignes here and stop by for a visit from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ben and Lily sit on the porch of the Fruit des Vignes farm stand.

 

Author: Elise Giordano

Elise is a photographer living on Vashon Island in the beautiful Evergreen State. When Seattle became too much, she set her sights on island life and never looked back. Today, she is trying to find ways to slow down through cooking, gardening and exploring.

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