July 23, 2015 // 9:58 AM
Farm to Table
Written by Scott Miller
Whenever possible, we source from local farms and share recipes that reflect our favorite seasonal flavors in the Eastern Lancaster County area. Our seasonal soups, along with other fresh choices, are made in-house daily.
A significant initiative to grow, buy and eat local has gained popularity in the last several years. We see flashy statements like Farm-to-Table, Farm-to-Fork, Dinner in the Corn Field, and others to draw attention to the health and community benefits of taking advantage of the wonderful culinary delights that originate in Lancaster County. After all, the area is called “The Garden Spot” because of our rich farm lands. I’ll be honest; we use those same flashy terms to get your attention. The reason being we believe there is tremendous community benefit to locally sourcing the foods served in our eateries. There is nothing better than fresh, red, ripe Lancaster County tomatoes – the rich flavor is mouthwatering, not to mention the high nutritional value!
There’s a farm not far from Garden Spot Village on a seldom traveled, out of the way country road where the family makes their produce available in a small road side stand that works on the honor system – to pay you simply drop money in a jar. Whatever’s in season, they typically put out. I love their cantaloupes. They pile them in shopping carts that sit on the grass, and they may or may not have the dirt knocked off of them. When cantaloupes are $2.50 in the store they’re 50 cents in the cart. It’s something that’s authentically indicative of Lancaster County: the simple sharing of the earth’s abundant bounty.
Long before a focus on local, farm fresh produce became a media favorite, Garden Spot Village has been consistently sourcing from local farms. The fall 2010 issue of Destination: Garden Spot Village magazine highlighted how, the year before, a resident volunteer program began making pick-ups at local farms as well as how five years before that, groups of people would get together regularly to husk corn, snap peas, prepare strawberries or whatever else was ready for harvest throughout the growing season. All of these undertakings have grown, sustained themselves and become increasing popular at Garden Spot Village over the years.
Peeling peaches, cutting cucumbers or slicing strawberries may or may not be your thing but there are people who simply enjoy doing it. Brandon stopped in my office the other day (Brandon is our graphic designer and photographer) very excited because he had seen a group of people on a loading dock husking corn. He couldn’t wait to get pictures. Personally, when I get a bowl of fresh peaches and cream at lunch I think they taste a whole lot better knowing that they not only came from a local farm, but that they were prepared by a group of people who had fun getting them ready. Preparing them is one thing, but it draws together a group of people with a common interest and a desire to serve others. The simple act of peeling peaches becomes a social gathering with a purposeful, productive outcome. That’s pretty awesome and it’s authentic Garden Spot Village!
Every first and third Wednesday of the month, we hold a Farmer's Market in the Village Park. Everyone is welcome to visit and purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables. In July, the farmer's market had tomatoes, watermelon, onions, cucumbers, strawberries, and even kettle corn! The next GSV Farmer's Market is Wednesday, August 5. I hope to see you there!