The first two weeks could not have had better weather to shop for fresh produce and interact with the different vendors. Even when it’s wet and windy, a fancy pair of rain boots and matching umbrella makes for great shopping attire. On Saturdays, right in the center of the Gettysburg Outlet Shoppes, a variety of vendors set up to display local products and share their story. There was a great turnout and even outlet shoppers could not resist a snack to make it through a long day at the stores. Maybe light winds carrying the scent of fresh flowers and baked goods attracted them our way.
During our visit to the market, we were excited to meet some locals and most importantly, find some fresh food for a cookout later in the day. We ended up walking away from the experience with a reaffirmed respect for the local producers and their passion for what they do. There are no secrets (other than the family tradition) as to how each vendor raises livestock or grows their produce and they are proud to share with anyone. In today’s food industry, we often do not get the opportunity to personally meet the individuals who produce our food. Nothing is more rewarding and satisfying than being conscious of what is on your family’s dinner table which brings a greater appreciation for the local community.
Interacting with the different vendors was a fun experience that made us very eager to try different products and learn the story behind what is being consumed. After meeting the producers and trying a few (okay.. a lot) of samples, we decided to grill hamburgers using fresh ground Icelandic Lamb from Woollyboogers Sheep Farm and ground beef from Santa Gertrudis Cattle found at Chapel-Ridge Meat & Mercantile. Amazing…there is something to be said about the flavor that comes from animals treated humanely and allowed free range to graze the pastures. To fully appreciate the taste, we just added a pinch of salt and pepper before we molded them into giant patties and fired up the grill. And do not forget about dessert! A coconut cake from Beevia Farm and Bakery rounded out a delicious dinner and a fun experience at the farmer’s market.
Don’t worry, we are just getting started. Stay tuned as we visit with individual vendors, take some more pictures and try out new recipes.