Farmer's roadside stand in Hampton offers fresh food, good deals
A faded, handwritten sign instructs shoppers at farmer Albert Henrich's roadside stand in Hampton.
“Help yourself. Everything is marked. Please put money in money box,” explains the sign above a sheltered, worn picnic table by Henrich's home on Cedar Run Road.
An old scale also hangs above the table's boxes of fresh but unwashed produce: mammoth, misshapen beefsteak tomatoes for $2 per pound; bulbs of garlic just pulled from the ground for 50 cents each; $4 pint containers of plump blackberries; yellow beans and green beans for $2 per pound; cucumbers and red beets for 50 cents each; squash for $1.25; Swiss chard for $1 per pound; and sweet corn — picked daily before dawn — for $6 per dozen.
People also can cut stems of sunflowers and orange gladioluses from a nearby garden also planted with rows of basil and parsley.
Henrich, 85, grows nearly all the fruits and vegetables on the 7 acres behind and around his house.
“He's one of a kind,” Mary Brand of O'Hara said about Henrich and his honor system of selling produce.
“The quality of the food is always good,” said Brand, a psychologist who recently stopped by Henrich's stand to buy corn for dinner.
The stand opened about 40 years ago.
Henrich, a former steelworker and Korean War veteran, still picks a number of the crops he sells, despite breaking one of his hips several months ago.
“If I do something, I hurt,” he said. “If I don't do something, I hurt.”
On a cold day in March, Henrich fell from a step ladder while trying to fill a bird feeder in his yard. “I didn't step right,” he said.
For several hours, Henrich struggled to pull himself across the ground before a young neighbor spotted Henrich and called an ambulance.
“They had a nice, warm blanket in the ambulance,” Henrich said.
When Henrich's late wife, Anna Marie, died on Dec. 22, 2012, at the age of 84, people wondered whether the couple's popular vegetable stand also might pass into history.
“She was always there to wait on customers — with her nice personality,” said son Robert Henrich, 52, also of Hampton, one of the couple's four children. The others are Audrey Hutter of Darien, Conn.; John Henrich of Helena, Mont.; and Karl Henrich of Charlotte, N.C. There are 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Robert Henrich, a data systems administrator for Allegheny County, now helps grow, pick and sell the produce at his parents' stand.
“I never have time to wait on anyone,” Albert Henrich said.
Last week, Albert Henrich visited his blackberry bushes three times in one day to harvest the bushes' fruit.
In the coming weeks, the Henrichs expect to also offer homegrown cabbage and peppers at their produce stand, located at 3348 Cedar Run Road, about a quarter of a mile from the intersection of Middle and McCully roads.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.