Monday, October 19, 2009

Shopping the Farms

A beautiful day in Amish country; my good friend Stephanie and I enjoyed the scenery en route to my mom's place in Fleetwood, just outside of Kutztown PA. (the site of my Alma mater, Kutztown University). On November 20th, K.U. will host an important Art Education conference, "Teaching Art with Gender in Mind", featuring Judy Chicago. Stephanie was involved in the project through her graduate work. I hope to attend.
My mother enjoyed showing Stephanie the map of Germany she has on her bedroom wall, and comparing locations with her. Like mine, Stephanie's family also emigrated from Germany due to the WWII. We are both first generation German Americans, and grew up with similar stories at our parents' knees. Though we are about a half-generation apart, there are many other similarities in our characters; I feel very lucky to have found such a good friend. I find it ludicrous that as each new ethnic group arrives in America we shun them in the same way until they become "acculturated", when our culture is such an amalgam of rich and varied ethnicities. Do we forget that most of us came here from somewhere else, too?
Mini pumpkin fields; this one looked like a field of tangerines.
We stopped at a few produce stands, as well as this store, where we bought wonderful bulk dry goods and canning supplies. I stocked up on lentils, quinoa, and store-made pasta. We are so fortunate to have the Amish and Mennonite farms still thriving in our area. They provide beautiful, wholesome natural foods, and maintain the historic farmlands that are so rapidly disappearing elsewhere. We're both committed to eating locally, thereby supporting the efforts of local farmers and reducing our carbon footprint. It just feels right.
Momma and child (BIG child), at the entrance to Meadow View Farm, a Mennonite farm in Bowers, and the instigator of the annual Chile Pepper Festival. HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
Meadow View Farm rocks. Not only do the sell the finished products, they carry every hot pepper you can imagine, as well as smoked hot peppers, sweet peppers, other less feisty vegetables, and earlier in the season, the very plants that produce these gems! What a wonderful place! YEEE HAAA! CALIENTE! I'm looking forward to a spicy winter!

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