I am not a shopper! You won’t find me at the mall any day of the week. But after living in nearby Chester County, Pennsylvania, when I think of visiting Lancaster County, my mind (and taste buds) focus on shopping for delicious treats. That’s why when we were asked for ideas for our Amish Seasons series, the perfect setting was be a farm stand.
We like to visit farm stands along Route 30 and Route 340.
You can find a variety of products. If you’re lucky, there are samples…a brilliant marketing strategy because once you taste that homemade whoopie pie or amazing cheese you can’t find in your regular supermarket, you’ll buy.
Farm stands can be simple. A table or a small building near the road.
As you drive along the country roads, you will see that farm stands are a family affair. Often the younger children are supervising the stand or are nearby.
Our favorite farm stand is on Route 30 just east of Route 896. We stop by year after year for cinnamon buns, fresh vegetables, and the best shoofly pie we have ever tasted.
The vegetables are definitely fresh! The wagon is off to get hay now, but when we went by earlier in the day, it was bringing in vegetables.
Bigger farm stands offer everything from baked goods to quilts to wood crafts.
A favorite activity is driving around on a Saturday and visiting yard sales. We enjoy talking with the Amish about what they have to sell. I had a nice conversation with a lady selling books in the series called Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue (written by Laura Lee Hope of Bobbsey Twins fame). They were her grandmother’s books, and my grandmother had given me her books years ago. It’s always interesting to see what’s for sale: everything from books to clothes to household bric-a-brac.
Look for the stores were the local people shop. You’ll see a hitching rail in the parking lot, often with horses and buggies.
On our way home, we try to stop in Strasburg, south of Route 30. On the corner of Routes 896 and 741 is the Strasburg Country Store. Make sure you try the delicious ice cream.
I hope you will have a chance to visit Lancaster County and sample the shops and farm stands…and ice cream!
Jo Ann Brown has been creating characters and stories for as long as she can remember. She’s penned over 100 titles as a best-selling and award-winning author. She currently writes for Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and is co-authoring an Amish series for Berkley with Cameron Dokey, which she writes under the name of Marianne Ellis.Her most recent book is Autumn Grace.
She has always lived on the east coast, but now resides in Nevada with her husband and a very chubby cat.
Connect with Jo Ann: Website