Ralph Young has been shipping in and supplying Ely with the freshest fruits and vegetables every in-season Saturday for fourteen years. As he tells it, “We keep coming back because the people here are so good.” In the bear of heat, against growling traffic, in the rain or otherwise, you will find them, on Great Basin Boulevard, ready to provide you with the very best produce available.
In John Chachas’ vacant lot, next to the Washington Federal, Ralph and his wife, Tammy, and their good friend, Mary Gines, shuck corn and sling fruit. Unless they are shipping in fresh special ordered fruit, “90% of all of the vegetables are ours that we grow and the fruits we get from a farmer friend we trade with. Everything is grown in Utah.” The three of them go out of their way to make sure our tables overflow with bountiful harvests; juicy, ripe tomatoes, golden ears of corn, perfectly plump peaches and potatoes, succulent watermelon and cantaloupe, giant zucchini, chilis and pepperchinis. Strawberries and blueberries.
Over the next two months you can plan your grocery shopping around Ralph’s fruit and veggie stand, “We’ll be here until the first week in November. We’ll be bringing in potatoes, winter squash, apples, white and orange pumpkins, onions; butternut, spaghetti, banana and acorn squash … every Saturday.” Locals supporting locals benefits everyone in the long term.
One thing Ralph does want the public in White Pine to know, “We take special orders from anybody; we want to know what they’d like to have brought in. We want to take care of everybody, because everybody’s been taking care of us for all these years.” That in-and-of itself should be enough to encourage you to make the road-side stop every Saturday through the end of October.
Beyond the honest-to-goodness friendliness of all three of these farmers is their generosity of spirit. They certainly don’t have to, but Ralph, Tammy, and Mary do more for the community here than simply acting as produce vendors, “We make sure we don’t sell out, we could sell out every Saturday, but we make sure to box up and haul and donate what we have left to the Care Center, and we don’t charge the senior citizens anything.” True benefactors giving to those in our community that need it the most and demonstrating what is truly good in the world.
If you have ventured up to the Renaissance Village for the Farmer’s market these past few weekends you can bet the best fruit and corn is from Ralph, Tammy, and Mary. They are supplying the best fresh fruits and vegetables around, so skip the checkout lines and checkout what they have to offer.
Fourteen years is a long time for folks to truck out to the middle of everywhere and sit on the side of Great Basin Blvd. They do it because they enjoy their customers and the customers enjoy them. If you have yet to experience the quality of their homegrown goodness, now is your chance. If you have been a customer, let’s make sure to keep showing them the support they deserve and keep them coming back. See you on Saturday, but that special order pineapple is mine.