Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Farmer's Markets

Do you like going to farmer's markets? We do and there's two that we go to relatively regularly, especially if you loosely interpret "regularly."

The first is Central Market in Lancaster, PA. We go there whenever we visit my dad. The girls love to go, I enjoy the atmosphere and really, if we lived a lot closer (like in Lancaster) I'd be there often, trying all sorts of stuff. It's the oldest, continuously operating farmer's market in the country. It's in an old historic brick building that they just finished renovating. The stand holders are a mix of what you would typically find in a market - lots of fruits and vegetable stands, meat stands - as well as some that are more unusual, for example there's a couple of coffee stands, The Herb Shop (a favorite of ours, he sells loose tea, spices, and a few packaged specialty items), Rafiki's Deli (they sell a variety of African food that looks really good), The German Deli (German delights), and of course there's several stands that are run by the Amish. Oh, and I can't forget the candy stand; behind The Herb Shop it's the one stand that the girls have to stop at to get their candy fix. The market is open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and I think my dad must go all three days. He goes for his social time to see his friends, the stand holders; it's good exercise, we always walk to market when we're there (a nice walk through Lancaster), and of course, he goes to buy food.

The other market we go to is much closer to home. It's the Dale City Farmer's Market run by the rec center. This one meets outside in one of the commuter lots on Sunday mornings. During the regular year, it's open from 7am-2pm (I think). This year for the first time, they decided to try a winter market that's open from 10am-1pm and we've been a few times. They have many fewer stands but there's been a milk guy, a meat stand (they had great pork chops and I'll be going there for lamb chops for Easter), one stand with fruit (apples and pears), one or two bread/baked goods stands, and the goat's milk soap lady. There may have been one or two others; the actual stands kind of varied by week and weather. I think they probably had a successful winter trial since the weather in general wasn't too bad. Starting in early April, they'll get back to their regular schedule with the larger market - in addition to the above stands there will be lots more veggie stands, at least a couple more fruit stands, I remember a goat cheese stand, Rosie Jane's favorite is the kettle corn truck, there was also a crepe truck last fall. Last spring there was at least one stand with flowers and plants. I generally try to go every couple of weeks after church to pick up some soap, veggies, fruit, and occasionally a bag of kettle corn.

Hopefully you can find a good farmer's market near you. I can't wait until the spring market starts again!

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