Monday, July 16, 2012

The Road Side Stand

Some of the best places in this world can't be found on Google Maps.  One of them is the Road Side Stand.  It's not quite a Farmer's Market, but the prices and quality can't be beat.  Last spring when I suffered from "Morning Sickness" all day, I really craved this fresh produce that simply doesn't exist during March & April.  I'm so thankful for it now!  

During the summer months I forego the conventional grocery store shopping and frequent several local stands.  Maple Arch Farm is my favorite!  It had humble beginnings.  I recall years ago it was nothing more than a small table and two kids under an umbrella.  It has grown to become so much more!  They offer a variety of produce all grown organically in mineralized soil (unless otherwise marked).  And when I say variety I mean you'll find items like Yellow Doll Watermelons, Musk Melons, White Tomatoes and Purple Bell Peppers.  Some items can be more expensive, but the Bargain Table more than makes up for it.  Everything pictured below is just $1.75 because it is 1-2 days old.  Just the other day I bought a 1/2 Bushel of Green Beans for only $8.00.  I put my latest bargain in freezer bags and look forward to enjoying them over the winter.
This stand doesn't stop at produce.  Here you'll also find plants, flowers, hay bales, baked goods, eggs, dairy, grass-fed meat, jams, jellies...the list goes on.  This fall they'll have the most adorable Fairy Tale Pumpkins, squash, gourds and mums from every color of the rainbow.  You can even order a Thanksgiving Turkey here.

Maple Arch Farm is located along Route 10 between Cochranville and Parkesburg near the intersection of Friendship Church Road.  They're open Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5:30PM and Saturday 9AM-4PM.  The Early Bird does get the worm but don't come too early.  The produce makes it's way from the farm to the stand via a horse drawn wagon just before opening time.  So be patient and give them time to unload the goods.  If you're interested in large quantities for home preserving, place an order and do their best to accommodate requests.      

This stand has limited availability of organically grown fruits.  But just down the road I spotted a sign that had just what I was looking for - BLUEBERRIES!  Perhaps the easiest foods to preserve for later use are these little gems of blue that are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.  I freeze them for smoothies, waffles, pancakes and desserts over the winter months.  If you're looking for this small stand it is located along Highland Road between Fallowfield Road & Umble Road.  

If you have a favorite road side stand, orchard or market, I'd love to hear about it.  Sometimes "word of mouth" or taking that wrong turn is the only way to find out about these places - especially in Amish Country. 



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