Payment set-up at the Stonecipher Farm Stand. Facebook photo.

A series of thefts is forcing Stonecipher Farm owner Ian Jerolmack to re-examine the cash honor system at his farmstand.

Jerolmack pleaded with thieves to stay away from his business in a Facebook post last weekend.

“If you are stealing money from our farmstand or know someone that is, let’s just quit that,” wrote Jerolmack. “We are a small farm, support five children, and put this great effort into bringing our community good food and very low margins,” he said. “Your stealing from us is very personal and ruins our ability to do business with all the honest people. If you need money, please ask us for work.”

The farmstand is unattended and its cashier is a covered plastic bucket to hold cash and checks, and an unlocked cash box for patrons to make change.

Jerolmack said although people may think he sounds naive, “the honor system works 99% of the time.” He said it was an ethical decision he made alongside his staff.

Although he has lost money from the farmstand, Jerolmack said the majority of his business comes from selling wholesale to Portland restaurants and co-ops. Still, he said he takes pride in the stand and wanted to provide easy access to affordable organic produce for the community.

Though he’s not positive who is stealing from the stand now, Jerolmack said one woman robbed him three times last year. The police were called, and she was asked not to come back, according to Jerolmack

“Everyone on Earth has been stolen from. This is not any more tragic than that,” said Jerolmack.

Now that the busy summer season is coming to a close, he said he has time to figure out a solution to the problem. That solution might include changes to the honor system or a locked cash box.

Comments are not available on this story.