Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trip to Oley

I love going to Oley, about 8 or 10 miles into the countryside. We had an early dentist appointment at the Vo-Tech, and then we went to the Oley Legion Diner for breakfast. Less than $10 for three of us to have breakfast, and the conversation is fabulous - peak oil talk, discussion of artisan bread and cheese, gossip among people that eat breakfast together on a regular basis. I got a farm auction flyer hanging on a fish chain on the wall - lots of garden tools and canning jars, but I wonder if its worth driving to Colebrookdale Township on May 10 at 9AM.

A man in "overhauls" came in with two loafs of bread for the waitress (who is think is a part-owner). The man and the waitress are both "bread freaks" and he wanted her to try the extra-sour pumpernickel he just got. It was from the Oley Bakery, which is mostly wholesale to fancy urban outlets, but can be found at Christman's Meat Market just down the road. He offered us a sample slice - it was definitely sour, but it made me immediately want to put corned beef and swiss on it to grill. The man was from Philadelphia, now living in Oley and wearing bib overalls in diners.

I asked if they knew anything about that Old Earth Farm, and they had heard of it, but didn't say much else. Don't know what that means. They told me about an organic farm run by an Aaron Burkholder near Bowers. Googling turned up an address: 460 Bowers Rd, Kutztown PA 19530. We'll have to check that out.

We did stop at Cristman's - no pumpernickel, but they had other great Oley Bakery loaves for about $3.25. But better yet - the meat market is great. Premise-made scrapple and pickled tripe. I found real lard with no additives for $1.19/lb. They render it right there and dip it out of a bucket for customers.

Then we went to Glick's, which is full swing. The front parking lot was full. I stayed out of the perennial section - I knew I would be too tempted. I had to limit myself even in the veggies. Market 4-packs are $1.45, or 45 cents for single plants. Perfect for small gardens where you can only support one or two of each plant. Here is what we got:

Potatoes: Yukon Gold (1), Pontiac Red (3), Dark Red Norland (2)
Sweet Peppers: Valencia (red), Baby Belle (dark red-purple), Chocolate Beauty
Eggplants: Ichiban, heirloom Black Beauty
Tomatoes: Brandywine, Sun Sugar (yellow cherry)
Celery "Tall Utah"
Italian Parsley

I thought we were only growing cherry tomatoes for DD15, but she also wanted a slicing tomato for sandwiches. I must pay more attention to pruning, water, and fertilizing this time.

At $0.90/lb, I only spent 45 cents on seed taters, and I already need more buckets to grow them! The whole bill was $6.90. I saw a lot of brassicas I would have tried, but I can already see the white cabbage moths - I am not buying until I have row cover arranged. Maybe I will get some when they have the spring sale, if there is any room left in the yard!

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