Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Great Farm Market Escape

Hello, Summer! 
In honor of my first day of summer vacation, my buddy Stephanie and I made a pilgrimage  to my favorite places.
First stop:

...where I bought a beautiful Hungarian pepper plant.  Score!
Then onward up the road to:
---which was unfortunately closed.  Rodale is one of the leading agencies of change in the organic movement, with work dating back to 1947.  You can access their website here. 
Down the road a bit to the first of the Amish farm stands:

where I bought green beans and tomatoes.
Then, my favorite:
This place (Burkholders A) has it all.  They sell the very best of the vegetables; the most variety, the freshest foods, home baked goodies, canned goods, plants...AND hand crafted furniture!  WOW!
I couldn't resist a shot of their tri-colored cauliflower.  I'm not a huge cauliflower fan, but these were just plain pretty.

Our next stop was Meadow View Farm.  It should be called "Miniature Horse View Farm", because that's what we look for whenever we go there.  They have the most adorable herd of miniature horses!  And alpacas, sheep, and goats!  I love this place!  They have a huge chili pepper festival every summer.
 Their shop was full of canned and dried goodies, but not much fresh food just yet; I'll check again soon.  I saw the fields of veggies, and they looked pretty ready to me.

They have greenhouses full of wonderful plants: herbs, vegetables, and ornamentals.  They also sell hand made wooden furniture.
I've been looking at this sign for two years.  We stopped in.  The sweet Amish girl who was in the little shop
there explained that most of their food went to filling orders. 
The place smelled wonderful.  I think they were smoking pork. It made our stomachs growl!
(So did the onions in the back seat!)

She gave us a card.  It said "Burkholders".
The Burkholders seem to own most of the county.  This stand:
proved that to us. They had a nice variety, too.  I got a handful of rhubarb here. 
Then: Mecca.
Anything you might want or need.  They have dried fruit and nuts, natural foods, dried pasta, seeds, grains, specialty flours, herbs, organic teas and supplements, canning supplies, sausage making supplies; it's the one-stop shopping space for the ultimate homestead cook.   We broke the bank here. It was worth it.
By the way, by this point, we were starving. 
I'll bet there's a Burkholder somewhere in there.
On the way to lunch we passed this stand, which yielded cucumbers and asparagus.

Then we ate lunch at the Dryville Hotel.  Happily, it did not live up to its name.
After a visit to my mother in Fleetwood and a quick stop at Kutztown University (to return a video to a professor friend who works there), we stopped at Dietrichs.
Dietrichs was also  most decidedly NOT dry. It started to pour when we were inside.

I bought local sausage, bratwurst, cheese and horseradish.  Oh my.
Our last stop for the day:

where we bought scapes and enjoyed talking with the owner.  Her email updates are wonderful.  She apparently had an extensive garden that supplies more than just the common vegetables, as her last post discussed sharing a plant that made indigo dye.
I can tell you that her scapes are good.  And her little shop is full of country-esque goodies.

I closed my day with a trip to the hand doctor and the news of impending surgery, which I heard with mixed feelings.  I'll be laid up for a month or so this summer, but it will improve my function in the long run; I currently have two fingers that won't close properly and pretty severe carpal tunnel in my right hand.  I'm an artist and goat milker.  I need that hand.
I'll be having a knee taken care of this summer, too (though not by the hand doctor...of course). 
Improvement is what I'm looking for, so it's all good.
What will I do with a gimpy leg and a splinted hand?  It'll be an interesting time.

What a beautiful day.
Good company, good food, good fun.

By the way...I was accepted by my grad school.  I'm going to be the oldest student on campus this fall!

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