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A Visit to an Amish Farm

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My second pot luck luncheon at the farms. My husband’s first. Today we drove to Christiana PA to attend one of the pot luck picnics at a member farm of Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop. This non profit cooperative supplies our CSA.

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Most of us arrived by car to picnic in the barn. The barn was being used, just in case of rain. Some of us arrived by buggy.

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There were quite a few cooperative member families who came to have lunch, talk to us, share their passion for locally grown food, and just create that bond. They had cloth bags for sale at the coop store today.

My favorite line on the bag — Don’t buy food from strangers.

We shared wonderful homemade goodies, brought by over 100 CSA members, and also provided by the Amish families in attendance. Today’s picnic was at the farm of one of the founding members of the coop. Followed by a Q&A with the managers and the farmers, then a walking tour of the farm.

After the tour, the opportunity to pick tomatoes and corn from the farm.

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My husband picked a bag of tomatoes in one of the high tunnels while I talked with the wife of one of the farmers.

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Heirloom cherries, yum!

We were also invited to come to another farm to pick up some “seconds”. Produce not good enough to put in a CSA box, but still quite wonderful. At lunch, my husband struck up a conversation with one of the farmers. He grows radicchio, Napa cabbage, purple viking potatoes, green romaine, something I can’t remember now, and Fava Beans for the coop.

Why the emphasis on fava beans. Because they gave us a box full of them from their cooler.

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These were pods with maybe one bean in them, or pods that had a cut on them. They can’t use them in the CSA, so they were at the farm. He had ten boxes left of these, and they were going to the hogs this week for food. He has given them away in the past to CSA members, but they weren’t here this year. He asked us if we wanted some. Little did we know he meant about 25-30 pounds of pods, which netted us about eight pounds of beans.

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We sat out on the patio tonight drinking a glass of local wine and shelling favas. Tomorrow I will blanch them and freeze most of them. We will use a couple of batches of them in recipes this week though.

Today was an overdose of local eating. Some people may say, “They aren’t Maryland farms” but the challenge doesn’t require the farms to be in Maryland. And, I took watermelon, feta and mint salad to the picnic. The feta was Breezy Willow feta, so I definitely had very local ingredients in my salad.

Besides, we have lovely VA and PA farms in our Howard County markets. Those of us who buy from the markets are supporting farmers from within a 100 mile radius of our homes. Even if we cross a state line here or there.

The Amish farmland is amazingly beautiful to visit. The people are wonderful. The food is awesome. When we went to pick up the fava beans, we turned down a ride in the family’s buggy. I wish we had the time to have taken it but we wanted to get home and shell all those beans before it stormed.

A perfect day to kick off the first day of Buy Local. Visiting a farm and supporting them.

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

2 responses »

  1. would you please post the recipe for the watermelon feta salad.? I stumbled upon your blog recently and I am enjoying it. I just started a CSA membership and is curious about other people’s experiences and your blog fits quite the bill!

    • The salad is simple to make, just don’t assemble it until right before serving. Cut up cubes of melon and store them in the fridge on paper towels in a container. You want some of the liquid to be absorbed. Cut up about half as much feta as there is watermelon. You want the ratio of melon to feta to be about two to one.

      Add mint to the watermelon just before serving. I use three or four sprigs of peppermint from my garden. Don’t use dried mint if you can find fresh mint. I cut the mint in slivers and sprinkle over the melon.

      Salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze lime juice over it at the last minute. Drizzle olive oil last.

      I really just wing this recipe. No measuring necessary. If I like it more acidic, I use two large limes. Just NEVER put the lime juice on until serving as it will pickle the watermelon.


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