As a Connecticut native I’ve been extremely fortunate to experience the wonder that comes with the yearly transition from summer to fall. Although I’m fully aware that my background makes me biased, I continue to defend the notion that New England boasts some of the most beautiful fall weather in the country, as the foliage magically turns from it’s everyday green to a medley of reds, oranges and yellows within a matter of weeks.
I can still conjure up childhood memories of walking throughout my neighborhood during September and October, the freshly fallen leaves audibly crunching underneath my feet. My sister, mother and I would be on the look out for the most beautiful ones, sometimes even digging through the piles that neatly lined the side of the road. Once we had collected the perfect assortment, we would gleefully race home to press the leaves into a scrapbook to preserve them, knowing the others would soon by swept away by the first snowfall of winter. With that said, I can undoubtedly relate to the joy brought to New Englanders by fall foliage, and apparently I’m not the only one.
Entrepreneur and Massachusetts native Kyle Waring began a start-up called ShipFoliage.com that, in short, does exactly what the title implies. For $19.99 plus $3 shipping and handling, the website will send anyone in the United States three genuine New England leaves.
The site ensures that, “foliage experts hike all around the Northeast in search for the perfect leaves […] hand selecting only “Grade A” foliage.” Moreover, according to an article published in The Boston Globe, the leaves are then, “carefully cleaned and preserved with ammonia and glycerin to ensure they stay alive and colorful for years to come.”
Intrigued and also a little skeptical, I scrolled further down on the website, hoping to find a photo of the final product. What I encountered was disappointing to say the least. The photos under the “product description” section of the site displayed some sad, laminated-looking leaves. Upon further inspection I decided that one could go into any Michael’s craft store and buy artificial leaves of pretty much identical appearance and quality.
While I have no issues understanding the frivolous nature behind the company, it’s absolutely beyond me as to why anyone would actually spend more than $20 for only three rather unnatural looking leaves. Sure, the vivid colors and potential memories evoked by the foliage are lovely, but I can also think of a whole plethora of things I would rather spend $20 on that would make me just as happy, if not more so. Dinner in the North End, anyone?
I think that looking at high-resolution pictures of fall in New England would appeal to me more than a leaf that appears as though it belongs on the classroom walls of an elementary school in September. If you’ve gotten to the end of this article and decided that a small piece of New England foliage is exactly what you need to spend your paycheck on this week, though, you can place your order on their website. Rush delivery is also available (for an additional cost, of course). But wait! There’s more! Waring is also the brains behind Ship Snow, Yo!, a company similar to ShipFoliage that will mail individuals 16-ounce water bottles full of pure, Bostonian snow. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until the next snow apocalypse to place your order.