Saturday, March 10, 2012

Masonic Village Farm Market

Ah, spring is definitely in the air.  I love this time of year.  There is something so special about seeing a robin or spring flowers blooming and knowing that warm weather and fresh Lancaster County fruits and vegetables are not far away.  Each year at this time I start thinking about getting out in my garden and starting to dig.  As an Innkeeper I find there is not enough time to have a large garden but I usually try to at least plant some lettuce, herbs that I like to cook with and definitely some tomatoes.  For all the other wonderful fruits and vegetables that I enjoy cooking I usually go to one of my favorite local farm markets, Masonic Village Farm Market in Elizabethtown. 

They always have a great selection of local produce, and when available some from a local organic gardener as well. 

They are open daily from April 1st through December, Monday Through Saturday 8am to 5 pm, Sunday Noon to 4 pm (Sundays- June, July and August). They are also open January through March on Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm.   

Masonic Village Farm Market has been offering quality local produce since 1910, much of what they offer is grown at Masonic Village with the remainder from local Lancaster County farms.  Masonic Village Farm Market is also the 2nd largest tree fruit producer in Lancaster County.  They grow wonderful apples, pears, cherries, plums and some of the best peaches around.  The Farm Market also bakes delicious pies daily for you to enjoy.  I enjoy their fruit butters as well, especially the apple butter.  They have a large selection including butters without sugar and spice.  And you can’t forget to take home some of their preserves, jellies, or jams, too.

So put Masonic Village Farm Market on your list for a great place to stop the next time you are in Lancaster County.

Submitted by Ann Royer, Innkeeper at Amanda Gish House Bed and Breakfast Elizabethtown, PA

Monday, March 5, 2012

Middle Creek Wildlife

Every year at this time, thousands of bird-watchers flock to Middle Creek Wildlife
Management Area to view tens of thousands of migrating Snow Geese and Tundra Swans. These migratory waterfowl winter in the Chesapeake Bay region and migrate north in the spring to nesting grounds in in the arctic region of northern Canada. They tend to move through quickly in late fall, but on their return trip north they stop over at Middle Creek for several weeks in late February and early March. Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is operated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and provides Habitat for a variety of waterfowl, songbirds, a nesting pair of Bald Eagles, and a host of other wildlife. 

This year there is estimated to be 65,000 Snow Geese and 2,400 Tundra Swans. The prime viewing area is at Willow Point, which is accessible by the short, paved Willow Point Trail. Geese can also be viewed along the driving tour route that is open starting on March 1. The Visitors Center at Middle Creek offers a great collection of mounted wildlife, a touch-n-feel bin and activities for kids, as well as other educational exhibits and song-bird viewing. An extensive network of hiking trails of various difficulty levels is available at Middle Creek and the surrounding game lands.