Amish and Mennonite Farms and Gift Shops
You will see many family farms worked by the families and their children. I understand that most children are able to fully run their family's farm by the time they're thirteen or fourteen. With the number of children they have, the parents can "retire" to running gift shops, etc. while their very capable children tend the animals and the crops.
This photo was taken outside of Shady Maple Smorgasboard Restaurant in New Holland, Rt. 23. If you want to taste Pennsylvania-Dutch cooking, this is a good place. There's plenty to be had here!
The hoppin' spot of New Holland, PA
This was the busiest spot in New Holland, PA on a Friday night. The Pub offers fare ranging from fajitas to chili to lobster raviolis.
The only thing that marred the experience was the cigarette smoking inside the restaurant. It did not matter that there was a smoking or non-smoking section, the placed was packed and smoke permeated the air. We are spoiled in California as all restaurants and bars are non-smoking. The smell was so strong I literally lost my appettite. It's too bad that I lost my appetite as the food was excellent.
I ordered the pubhouse chili, laden with beans and onions and toppedwith melted cheese. My sister-in-law had the lobster ravioli and was quite surprised to find that it contained big chunks of lobster. My brother had the spinach salad and my husband had a grilled chicken sandwich.
My brother was astounded at how little the bill amounted to even with drinks which were generous and tasty.
The Farmer's Market is actually in Bird-in-Hand. But since more people will look at Lancaster, I will put the tip here.
This place has everything. Baskets, wood-work, candy, syrup, Amish craft, pancake mix, tee-shirts, straw hats, fresh flowers, salt-and-pepper sets, fresh produce, locally butchered meat products, fudge, cheeses, on and on and on.... They have added a little dining area that was not there in 1978 (when we were there on our previous visit).
My wife spent literally hours here both in the 70's and in 2006. I spent time on the front porch listening to the local news from the local shoppers. The prices are significantly higher than I remembered from our first trip, but a lot of time has passed...... (small joke)
Tons of antique shops
This lovely shop featuring 1800's fine antiques is located in Churchtown. It's not far from our stone cottage and the Churchtown B&B right on Rte. 23. The couple who own the shop are recent transplants from southern California. They are already involved in volunteering to work on a new local park being created on the grounds where our stone cottage was. This area is a real community ... tightly knit and very caring.
The Heart of Pennsylvania's Amish Country
"Lancaster County, in south-central Pennsylvania, is known for its historic towns and villages, and its fertile farmland. To maintain the county’s character, its diverse economy, and its natural resources for future generations, the Lancaster County Planning Commission established a countywide comprehensive growth management plan, which protects valuable farmland and historic landscapes by directing development to established towns and cities in the county."
--from the citation accompanying the 2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement presented by the EPA
It sounds as if this collection of beautiful, smallish towns and pastoral rural settings may be preserved well into the future.