Yesterday when I looked up at the sky, it looked like Fall. It had to do with something in the color of the clouds against the sun, a different kind of shading, a filtered type of light. Winter is not my season, so this first feeling of autumn makes my heart sink a bit, but then I remember that fall means pumpkins, gourds and apples at the farm markets. It’ll be okay.
Two of my favorite large farm markets are located mid-state. One is Roots . . . correctly pronounced like soot and not toot, if that makes any sense. I am too lazy to type it out phonetically. Roots Country Market and Auction is located in Manheim, PA and it’s held on Tuesdays from 9 til 9 (May to October) and 9 to8 (the rest of the year.) My other favorite market is the Green Dragon, located in Ephrata, PA. The Green Dragon Farmer’s Market and Auction is open on Fridays, from 9 til 9 . From January 1 through February 26, it closes at 8PM instead of 9. Bring coolers, because there is a lot to buy.
Both markets have indoor and outdoor stalls, and sell a mish-mash of everything from local produce, to Amish canned foods and baked goods, to livestock, to the usual flea market items like socks and designer knock-off handbags. There’s something for everyone. It’s not for uppity folks. I love it. My favorite stands are the ones with the Amish baked goods, the home canned pickles and the home brewed root beer. I also try to scout out any butcher stalls because they always have giant smoked turkey legs and ham hocks. Homemade split pea soup can sure cheer me up on a chilly fall day.
By mid-September, I can always find lots of different shapes of squash and pumpkins for outdoor decorating, along with apple cider, apple butter and pumpkin whoopie pies ( gobs to some of us) to get me excited for the season. Let’s hope a visit to the markets does the trick, because I feel old man winter breathing down my neck already and I’ve got to prepare. Get me some of those pumpkin gobs, a bag of apples and a few butternut squash. Pronto!