Honesty in a Box

Explore the lush Swiss farmland that’s right on our doorstep and, in all likelihood, you will soon stumble upon an autocueillette sign inviting visitors to pick-their-own fruit and vegetables, or stock up on farm eggs, cheese and home-made jams.

Alongside weekly farmer’s markets, Swiss farmers are now happy to offer their bounties of nature in “libre service” from unmanned stalls or sheds that remain open to the public all day and at weekends.

This exchange is based on mutual trust and a correct payment is expected to be left in an honesty box onsite. It’s definitely not a practice you’d see working in some other countries, where the box and produce would probably go missing within a few hours (!!), but it works very well here in Switzerland as more and more farmers put it into practice.

There is often a small notebook to be filled with details of what has been purchased and how much money has been left in the box — the savviest farmers will even accept payments in euros!

Direct from the farm! Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Direct from the farm! Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

The honesty box. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

The honesty box. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

The Domaine de Bois-Bougy. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

This is not only a great way to eat local and support our farmers, but an opportunity to taste some flavoursome Swiss produce that supermarkets don’t always carry.

So far, we’ve enjoyed sun-ripened abricots du Valais, sweet and juicy strawberries, cherries, apple juice — and Expat Husband won’t spread anything else on his morning toast now but the homemade strawberry jam from the farm half a mile from our place.

I often send the boys off on their bikes to buy eggs, fresh fruit or jam: a nifty way to get them out of the house AND encourage them to practise their maths, as they need to work out the correct amount to be left in the honesty box.

Home-made jams from the farm. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Home-made jams from the farm. Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

 

So, what do you think of this honesty-box system? Are they a good idea? Are there any farms you would like to recommend? Please, let us know in the comment box below!

If you’d like to give autocueillette a try, here’s some useful links — but remember to keep your eyes open as you drive through the Swiss countryside because you will probably stumble upon many more hidden gems!

GENEVA AREA

 

VAUD

Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

Photo © genevafamilydiaries.net

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2 Responses to “Honesty in a Box”

  1. Kristina says:

    This sounds like a great way to explore local produce. Will definitely try this out.

    • michela says:

      Hi Kristina,
      yes it is! Hope you will find some good farms near where you are, please let us know if you’d like to recommend anyone 🙂 Best regards