A Trip Back In Time

The debate continues to rage on, organic vs. local.  Sometimes the two are one and the same, and sometimes they are not.  As I drove into the parking lot of Booth’s Corner Farmers Market, I was immediately seduced by the mouthwatering aromas of what I perceived to be homemade pastries or candies of some sort.  The square building was painted an off-white, or rather appeared to take on an antique-white hue signifying that its existence had prevailed and persisted over many seasons.  As I opened the door, I wasn’t sure what I should expect.  I had driven past this building many times before.  But during the week, the lot looked lonely, even deserted as the market is only opened on the weekends. But today, the lot was jammed packed, presumably with people who considered themselves “privy ” to this local secret, so I thought I would wonder in among the masses.

The Philadelphia area is full of rich, textural tradition.  Not the least of which, being the birthplace of our country.  But there are other, more local traditions, and the Amish market is one of them.  The bucolic area west of Philadelphia is Amish country, and what a beautiful country it is.  With rolling hills, and real horse drawn buggies, Amish culture is full of skilled artisans of all sorts, but perhaps what is little known is that the Amish are also artisans of “slow food” in every sense of the word, and Booth’s Corners is but one of many markets in this area showcasing their delectable expertise.

Barbie's Home Canned

As I walked inside along the shops lining the periphery of the building, I was delighted to find so many artisan shops selling home canned fruits and vegetables.  To resist the urge for produce grown from afar, and embrace the slow food movement to eat what’s in season, or what was in season and lovingly and expertly canned, is pretty cool. Is denial of what is so easily obtainable masochistic?  I certainly don’t think so.  I think my choice pays tribute to the skill and artistry that is required to grow the food that we eat.  This ideal also respects, and honors the local farmers and artisans who have the proficiency of generations and generations of skill to not only cultivate food, but also transform it. Since the Amish generally avoid processed foods to eat what is produced in their own gardens and farms, what better symbol of a food movement rightfully moving back to where we started?

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2 Comments to “A Trip Back In Time”

  1. I so agree. I lived very close to Amish country (15 min.) and Philly too. I would buy all my groceries at the markets there, plus stop at all the produce stands on the way home. I have to admit, this is one of the two things I miss about where I was raised. The other was the hills and scenery of PA.

  2. I agree. I’m not able to get to these markets as often as I’d hope to, so I try to stock up every time I go.

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