day trip · food · slice of life

Farmer’s Market Field Trip

Isabelle checks out the meats at a grass-fed beef stand.  Beef: it's what's for dinner (tonight).
Isabelle checks out the meats at a grass-fed beef stand. Beef: it’s what’s for dinner (tonight).

I expected to be at my computer a lot today since it’s the first day of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  I expected to spend a couple of hours perusing student writing for the new Classroom Challenge.  I expected to do these things ’til my daughter’s babysitter had to cancel.

I was unsure how to structure this day knowing I was supposed to be at my computer.  I have an iPhone, which allows me to moderate comments remotely.  However,  it’s hard to comment on blog posts, especially those written off of WordPress, from my phone (i.e., because of logins and captchas). Therefore, I did what any mom in my position would’ve done.  I went to Plan B.  Wake up early, do what you can do, and then focus on the kid.

We took a field trip today.  Since I’m her mother, there’s was no permission slip required.  We just hopped in the car and headed east to Lancaster, PA to visit the Lancaster Central Market, which is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in the country.  As soon as I pushed Isabelle’s stroller through the double doors to the market, I realized I was in an historic place.  I took note of the high ceilings and the way the vendors were spaced.  It reminded me of the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, but on a smaller scale.  Smaller, but cozy.

I squeezed the stroller the aisles, careful not to bump people or displays.  My mouth probably hung open as I passed the vendors.  I made a mental note of where the salad vendor was, but never stopped there for lunch.  Instead I was seduced by a beef empanada, which I haven’t had since I stopped working in Central Falls, RI three and a half years ago.

Checking out some cookies.
Checking out some cookies.

We sampled bread at Thom’s Bread and landed up buying a chocolate boule, which we’ll use for French toast this weekend, that Isabelle and I both adored.  I navigated our way way through the aisles, naming the vegetables, cakes, meats, and other treats we passed for Isabelle’s benefit.  We sampled chive goat cheese (didn’t know it existed) from Linden Dale Farms.  We stopped by Maplehofe Dairy to buy eggs from happy chickens and milk from happy cows (because you don’t explain the concept of cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free milk to a two year-old).  We weaved our way back and forth through the aisles multiple times, even stopping for cookies, which Isabelle’s slowly developing sweet tooth enjoyed devouring along with some flash pasteurized apple cider.

I set out to write a focused slice of life story today, but it isn’t happening.  You see, Isabelle fell asleep on the way home from the market.  (It is a 45 minute drive, after all.)  She’s been in her crib, fighting sleep, for the past half hour.  So now I will step away from the computer and go and get her.  A quality piece of writing will have to come from me another day.

Our farmer's market finds!
Our farmer’s market finds!
Go to to read more slice of life stories.
Go to to read more slice of life stories.

24 thoughts on “Farmer’s Market Field Trip

  1. Maybe you didn’t think it was focused, but I loved the trip to the farmer’s market. Your’s sounds so different from what I used to. It’s like taking a little trip on a Friday. Thanks

  2. This trip sounded so rich with opportunities. You took every moment and made it richer even though it wasn’t your original plan. My trips to the market are usually chaotic and crowded. The tone of your slice seemed calm and cool.

  3. While reading this, I thought.
    “I know exactly where you are!” As your description was spot on, and I could connect it to a long ago memory.
    Although, I’m going to have to ask Mom how long ago it was that I’d been there.

  4. LIFE…rarely works out as we plan. A successful life, in my opinion, is one where the “owner” adapts to all the zillions of challenges and obstacles in the path!

  5. Your plan B sounded wonderful! Usually markets such as you describe are part of vacation events…don’t have anything like this near me. Finding such unusual gems to try and buy ohhhh love it! My favorite part, buying milk and eggs from the “happy chickens and cows”….so so so smart!

  6. The chocolate boule for french toast really caught my attention, mmmmm, sounds yummmmy! Are you kidding? This is not a focused piece? It was a delightful field trip for me. I wish we had such a place near me. We only get Farmer’s Markets during months when the weather is agreeable, not a lot of prepared food. Love the pic at the end, you made a haul.

    1. Thanks Elsie. I was so exhausted when I wrote it, which is why I was apologetic. (Only got 4 hrs of sleep from Thurs. into Fri. morning.)

      I haven’t made the French toast with the chocolate boule yet. It’s yummy on it’s own.

      You’ll have to visit Lancaster Co. so you can check this place out.

  7. Knowing how tight you were with time today, you got a lot of detailed writing done. Your Plan B was quality time shared with your daughter. Wonderful.

  8. You two had a lovely day! The pictures of Isabelle looking into the wares were so sweet…shopping like this is so relaxing and enjoyable, I feel.

  9. I have learned that it’s usually the plan b type days that are the memory makers. You can plan carefully, you can have elaborate memory making kid centered ideas that fall flat, but the last minute stuff is usually great!

  10. I enjoyed the trip, and now I am hungry…..One day, you and your beautiful daughter will enjoy reading all about the memories of your field trip to the Farmer’s Market one day…….Your slice made me hungry….off to make a sandwich!! ha ha

  11. What a delightful “field trip”! (I especially enjoyed the pictures!) Sometimes “plan B” turns out to be more wonderful than plan A! By the way, thank you so much for the comments you left for my students, especially since you ended up being so busy! And I agree with Tara — this is certainly a “quality” post!

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