Nowadays Clancy's is open, but if you passed by any other time of year, you'd think it had gone out of business. And it has, except for the turnips.
When I moved here to Eastham a dozen years ago, Clancy's was a thriving farm stand. It was always manned by a member of the family with whom I enjoyed chatting, usually about the Red Sox. It was there whenever I wanted a sandwich made with tomato fresh from the vine. Trips to Clancy's were a highlight of my summer.
As the years passed, the amount of produce dwindled and the charm of interacting with the growers was replaced by a weigh-it-yourself scale and a metal box to put your money in. Yet I continued to delight in stopping by there and I treasured the connection to the past it represented.
The last few summers, the rough hewn tables, dilapidated umbrella, and faded OPEN banner have been in a pile and there hasn't seemed to be anything growing in the fields.
But right now, Clancy's has customers, lots of them. From Columbus Day through Thanksgiving they come for the turnips. They pull their cars off the highway onto the deeply rutted turnout, select the white-gold orbs from a bin, and stick their money in the slot. Gourmet magazine and the "buy local" movement have made the Eastham Turnip, long known for its light color and sweetness, famous nationwide, and Clancy's has a cash crop.