by Lisa Tome
Walt McCabe's produce stand probably isn't a big money maker.
But it is eyecatching.
McCabe, who lives on Augustine Herman Highway south of Chesapeake City, allows people to pay what they want for his tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant. He has a handmade sign in his yard that reads "Pay What You Want". The sign is next to a folding table where the vegetables are placed after he does his daily picking. He has a coffee can to collect the revenue.
"Some people pay. Rather than throw it out, I put it out," said McCabe, who is helped with the harvest by his wife, Barbara.
McCabe, a retired utilities worker, said he enjoys his garden. He and his wife grow more than they can use. They no longer can or freeze the extras, so when the harvest is bountiful he needs a place for the vegetables to go. He has donated some of his surplus to a local food bank. But when he gets the morning's harvest he will place it on the table for people to buy.
"We just have it and share it. We used to can and freeze," he said.
The sign has helped him meet new people.
"A woman from New York came by and said 'you can't do this where I live'," he said.
He admitted that he doesn't rake in a fortune with his pay what you want policy. He said he saves what he earns from it.
"People do pay, but I've had a couple thefts I think," he said.
"The other day, a lot of tomatoes disappeared and they left a dollar."
He will also share what he has with neighbors or people who are in need.
"I hope whoever takes from here needs it," McCabe added.