Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Put your money in the can August 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


THIS TIME OF YEAR in Minnesota, roadside stands pop up with a bounty of fresh garden produce. Some are staffed. Some are not.



On Sunday evening, Randy and I stopped at an unmanned stand along U.S. Highway 14 as we passed through Courtland (between New Ulm and Mankato) after a weekend in southwestern Minnesota. We needed potatoes and always appreciate newly-dug spuds.



Pickings were slim at that time of day. But we found a bag of potatoes for $2 that fit our needs. Randy pulled two bills from his wallet and deposited the money in a mammoth coffee can labeled PUT MONEY HERE.

I love this trustworthiness that exists in rural Minnesota.



But apparently the gardener doesn’t trust Mother Nature. Inside the coffee can, an over-sized stone weighted the container against the wind.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Put your money in the can”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    When we had the Love Nest in Alabama our mowing guy left us a Folger’s coffee can. We put his payment in the can. And HE provided the can. 🙂

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    We never see “put your money in the can” places here. I don’t doubt that thieves would steal the money and the produce here. That’s something I love about the north… people are more trustworthy I think. Business can still be done with a simple handshake agreement.

    • Our trustworthiness in Minnesota ebbs and flows, I think. A few summers ago we stopped at a roadside stand along this same highway, except in the country. That gardener had a game camera set up and aimed at customers. I would be more inclined not to leave a coffee can for money. And unlike many folks in small town Minnesota, I lock my house. I don’t consider Faribault, with a population of around 24,000, to be “small.” But others do. To me, “small” is a population of 2,000 or fewer.

      • Littlesundog Says:

        We lock our home and we have an alarm service. We also lock our perimeter gates each night.

      • Now that’s security…I assume there’s a specific reason behind this???

      • Littlesundog Says:

        Yes, this town has a lot of theft, and unfortunately, several unsolved murders. It’s a rough town. We do know our neighbors and everyone looks out for each other. One of our neighbors was broken into five times last year. Oddly, it was usually at night or early mornings, while people were in the house. And several houses down the street have been broken into while people are at work. It seems to be worse around the holidays.

      • That is some mighty scary stuff happening in your community. The words “several unsolved murders” would be enough for me to lock down my place as you do. What makes your community such a “rough town?” There must be a root cause.

  3. Valerie Says:

    I love it when the honor system is used…I’m sure it doesn’t always work but glad folks are willing to try it.

  4. There is a farmers house I pass on the way to the cottage. He puts out firewood for sale in used feed bags. I stop there each week. He has a can to put the money in. I love the trust he still has. I don’t buy my firewood from anyone else.

  5. We are very fortunate to live where we are at. There was a farm on old Highway 77 N. Brookings for many years they had honey out in the take the honey and leave the money.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Ha ha that’s too funny! Nothing like small mid western towns.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.