• Sharon Shirk

The Beauty and Bounty

We enjoy Spring here in Lancaster County. Lovely weather, lovely gardens, fresh displays of spring color and gardens responding to gentle touches of the gardener. Farmer’s are planting seeds of hope for harvest, not many months away!Friday mornings is my time to go “gather” food for the weekend, for us and for our guests here at Stumptown Manor Bed and Breakfast.Just down the road from our house is where I make my first stop, egss. We get to see the givers of those eggs scratching and messing around in the safely fenced-in area nearby, under fruit trees where there are no cage restrictions and freedom to eat or socialize with other chickens.At this same stop, you can find cheese and other farm fresh products in season. It’s a help-yourself-place and everything is done on the honor system. We are neighbors and know each other by first name, but occasionally I see cars there with license plates from Virginia and New York and other surrounding states. Even then, it’s one of Stumptown Road’s best kept secrets.

My next stop will be at my own sister’s bake shop on Gibbons Road. I like to pick up fresh bread and sticky buns, made right there by the Amish and Mennonite girls. Hired for their skills learned from their Moms in their own kitchens back home and using recipes that turn out the same delicious bread and pies for years and years. I like to keep an eye on their feeding zoo out back made up of a small group of animals that love people and might have a new lamb of other small stuff in the spring.

One of my favorite stops on this run is Miller’s Health Foods along Miller Lane, still only a few miles from my house with offerings like home grown asparagus and zucchini which make delicious additions to Quiche that I might serve to my week-end guests.

There is a lady along that drive on Miller Lane who sells the best spinach, (in season) sweet and crisp flavor for $2,50 a lb. Do you know how much spinach that is? I’m busy imagining all the Calcium and Vitamin C in each serving of that grocery sized, almost -full bag!

And then while I’m on that lane, I will stop by LeRoy Miller’s for a gallon of farm fresh, deliciously, flavorful milk. (The best-in-the-west! Well at least West of the Atlantic Ocean) for our own use. We live in a small world here when it comes to Buy Fresh, Buy Local, in my own little run around the neighborhood, often I can buy most of what I need for the week-end and, with a little help from my local grocery store – where I buy grocery store milk for our guests and bacon, orange juice, etc, – to complete what I need for a weekend filled with Bed and Breakfast company.

The sights and scents from Stumptown Manor Bed and Breakfast often include these down-home, farm smells as well. Farmers all around us do what farmers need to do in the spring – that is clean out their horse and cow stables – so I’m warning you, it’s not all good and not always easy to keep it out there, but we do our best to keep in what needs to be in and out what needs to be outside.

My Friday morning gathering only takes an hour, but with all that is to be seen, an hour of “work” can easily turn into a morning spent enjoying all that the beauty and bounty of Spring in Lancaster.

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