In 1975 the Barberville Produce opened in Pierson, Fla. and in the 40 years since then has grown into a combination produce, pottery and yard art emporium that fills up over two acres. By 1990 the road art aspect had grown so large that the place took on a new name, Barberville Roadside Yard Art & Produce.
In a state where there are plenty of unusual things by the side of the road this one stands out. Located on SR 40 just west of US 17, it is a beacon of color and design. As you approach you are likely to see a full sized T Rex next to a seven-foot tall ceramic rooster. Just beyond them are a few Statue of Liberty ladies wired for lanterns to spread light at your own welcoming shores. There are lifelike ceramic and metal animals from the African plains and buffaloes mixed in with them for good measure.
Inside the wire walls of the compound are dozens of kinds of ceramic pots and more animals and metal signs for your party room next to gazing globes and gazebos, outdoor furniture, fountains, sinks and rustic metal animal sculptures.
Much of the pottery is Talavera from the city of Puebla and surrounding towns in Mexico. Talavera is famous around the world because it is made from especially fine clays and the traditional glazes and decorations are so crisp and colorful. A new shipment arrives each month.
The produce stand is still there and still offering up boiled and roasted peanuts, local honey, produce of the season, peanut brittle and old fashioned freshly made peanut butter.
With its independent spirit and quirky offerings, Barberville Yard Art and Produce definitely qualifies as Old Florida.
Next time you are on your way to Silver Springs or Barberville Pioneer Settlement or somewhere else and passing close by, set aside a half hour or so to wander the grounds and look at all this fine yard art and produce. You’ll probably take home some peanuts at the very least and may fall in love with a full sized ceramic tiger or a rearin’ bronco made out of metal. Don’t worry, if it won’t fit in your car, they can get it delivered to you.
Barberville Produce is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm. It’s not too soon to start thinking about Christmas presents…
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