Tomatoes, Peanuts, and Fresh Squeezed Juice:
A Visual Ethnography
Just beyond Florida’s main highways and thoroughfares is a cultural treasure that gives light to the most local of local commerce. As Florida's landscape grows and develops, small roadside produce stands are positioned in juxtaposition to the homogeneity and economic power represented in shopping malls, parking lots, and discount stores. These stands provide Florida communities and travelers an independent place to purchase produce and homemade gifts.
Florida roadside produce stands represent more than a form of local commerce because they articulate more implicit aspects of regional culture. Considered in symbolic form, these stands suggest meaning beyond their functional value. This photographic ethnography explores the culture and personality of several Central Florida roadside stands. Focused in Hillsborough and Polk counties, this series provides an intimate glimpse of produce stands and the people behind them. My conversations with customers and workers were rich and warm. In spite of the initial camera shyness of almost everyone I encountered, people enjoyed talking about their produce, recipes, and their connections to the stands.
The images presented here are excerpted from the original project.