Fruit Stands are Ripe for Learning

Fruit Stands are Ripe for Learning

by Darcy Flierl

It was a Saturday unlike other Saturdays in Martin County. The cool temperatures offered a relief of the summer months which extended well into our fall season. Families were moved to begin the Christmas season. Perhaps that is why so many people felt compelled to stop at my six year old daughters avocado stand she set up with her daddy.

She had been begging us for months to let her start a “We Help Animals Club” that would result in her getting   “clients” that would allow her to walk their dogs on a regular basis. Of course that means, my husband and I would be walking these dogs with her on a regular basis – a little too much of a commitment when we both already have full time careers.

The idea of selling avocados was a direct result of our lemon tree not having any lemons. There we were with my daughter behind a table with a hundred or so avocados piled high and her daddy on the corner holding our homemade sign that read, “Avocados $1.00”. Car after car, people would stop to buy fresh produce from my little first grader. At times she had a line of 5 people deep wanting to purchase her goods. I watched as she would greet her customer, find out their needs, discuss the price of their purchase, take their money and extend her gratitude- which was often her jumping up and down as she would stuff the dollars into her pink fluffy piggy bank that sat on the table.   Some people would stop just to see what this little girl was selling and would decline the avocados. My daughter learned so many lessons with this experience.

Avocado Stand

This avocado stand was a lesson in learning about the joy of working, how to talk with people, the art of talking about money, how to accept rejection and ultimately a lesson in gratitude. Maybe the people most grateful were her parents. These passer -byers took the time to pull over, turn around, do U-turns and walk a block or so, simply to support a little girl’s efforts. I wonder if they know that on Saturday they made our community a better place to live, that they enriched the life of a child and a family, that they took time to make a connection and develop the strengths of a young girl.

I encourage you all to build positive relationships with young people and support their ideas. You can do this by letting the young boy down the street mow your lawn, by learning the names of the kids in your neighborhood and taking the time to greet them by name or simply stop by the next lemonade stand or in our case, avocado stand.

My daughter sold out of Avocados that day and with each avocado sold-she became a stronger, more powerful, healthier and valuable part of our community.


Darcy Flierl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addictions Professional, and Certified Yoga Teacher currently offering individual and family psychotherapy in Stuart, Florida.  She also enjoys teaching in the Human Services Department as an Adjunct Instructor for Indian River State College and is Consultant for Non Profits along the Treasure Coast.

She has held board positions on for a variety of local and statewide agencies from the Department of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group to CHARACTER COUNTS! and others.  Darcy has received a variety of awards for her community work such as;  Soroptimist’s Rising Star Award, the Community Champion Award from the United Way and for community advocacy from the Tobacco Free Partnership and was a 2013 Nominee as a Woman of Distinction.

Besides working to make Martin County a healthier place, she donates her time doing River Advocacy for the Indian River Lagoon and raising awareness about many issues effecting young people and families.  She treasures her time with her husband, and children attending local events and enjoying Martin County’s recreational opportunities.

For more information about Darcy you can visit her website at:


2 comments on “Fruit Stands are Ripe for Learning

  1. Sorry, i can’t help myself since I was once a reporter. Did your daughter ever take on the dog-walking project? Where did the avocados come from,e.g. a local farm, the supermarket? Whare did the proceeds from the sale of the avocados go? Thanks.


    • Darcy Flierl says:

      Thank you for asking! This piece was written sometime ago. The avocados were from my yard. Unfortunately, my house and the trees (we had mangos too) were a casualty in the divorce from my daughters father. I recall allowing her to spend a little at the toy store and save the rest. We even opened a savings account with it. She didn’t get to the dog walking business. Although, being 12 she is currently washing our dogs for money as I write this. She is eager to work!


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