Deerfield family sets up stand for garden surplus: ‘Take what you need, leave what you can’: 

  • “Olivia’s Stand” on Stillwater Road in Deerfield offers produce and flowers. Staff photo/MARY BYRNE

  • “Olivia’s Stand” on Stillwater Road in Deerfield offers produce and flowers. Staff photo/MARY BYRNE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/31/2020 3:36:59 PM

DEERFIELD — A year ago, inspired by a neighbor, the Peabody family set up a small, makeshift produce stand outside their home on Stillwater Road, offering vegetables and flowers to anyone who passed by.

But it wasn’t like other stands — the table, with its broken umbrella, included a sign that read: “Take what you need, leave what you can.” The idea was that those who were in need weren’t pressured to pay.

“It was a hit,” Scott Peabody said.

So this spring, with the help of Scott and his wife Kerry, their daughter Olivia — a soon-to-be fifth-grader at Deerfield Elementary School — built a more permanent stand.

“(I like) knowing that people who need stuff can have it,” said Olivia, 10.

“Olivia’s Stand” is often filled with cucumber, squash, zucchinis, and Olivia’s favorite – tomatoes. The family grows much of its own produce, so whatever is extra is contributed to the stand.

“I planted most of the stuff,” Olivia said.

The stand also has flowers — most of which are donated from Scott’s father’s garden. The zinnias, which Olivia’s grandfather has named “Olivia’s Zinnias,” are displayed with sunflowers in vases the family has acquired over the years from various tag sales.

The only item in the stand with a price attached to it is the firewood — $4 per bundle.

“We have enough,” Scott said. “We garden … so we offer it up.”

Kerry added that it’s nice to see everything being shared.

Deerfield is a “really good community,” Scott said, so the stand is a way for the Peabodys to give back.

The family said some days, everything from the stand is taken; other days, very few things are picked up.

But that’s not necessarily the point. Scott said the concept of the stand also serves as a reminder to people who are just driving by — whether they stop at the stand or not — that despite all that’s going on in the world, there’s still some good out there.

“We’re going through a tough time,” he said. “But there’s a light at the end of this storm.”

Above all, it’s a fun project for Olivia to work on with her parents.

“And in the end,” Scott said, “if we’re helping people … that’s great.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

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