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A publication by and

week
OCT. 7-14 | CELEBRATING LANCASTER COUNTY AGRICULTURE

THANK A FARMER
Hard-working and often overlooked, they are the unsung heroes of our land.

PRODUCING PRODUCE FACES OF FARMING BEFORE THE BUZZ


What it takes to bring Lancaster County’s rich The county’s restaurants
Lancaster Central Market tradition of fairs brings employed the farm-to-table
stands to life every Tuesday, farmers face-to-face with ethos long before it became
Friday and Saturday n PAGE 6 consumers n PAGE 10 a hip buzzword n PAGE 18
2 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

CONTENTS | AG WEEK 2017

PATRICK KIRCHNER | LNP VISUAL EDITOR

INSIDE THIS ISSUE DESIGN BY CHRIS EMLET, LNP ON THE COVER


4 AG WEEK SCHEDULE
A complete list of the events going
14 EXPORTS, FAR AND WIDE
A visualization of where county’s
20 FOOD HUBS
Cooperation is beneficial for
on throughout Ag Week. ag products go across the globe farmers and consumers.

6 BEHIND THE STANDS


Life at Central Market has a life
16 KREAM ON TOP
Work for organic dairy farmers is
24 OLD IS NEW
Brilyn Acres preserves early
and a rhythm all its own. challenging, but rewarding. farming style, with help.
RICHARD HERTZLER | LNP STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

ON THE COVER: This image of a farmer


10 QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Young farmers enlighten urban
18 FARM-TO-TABLE
Local chefs’ relationships with
26 NATURAL PROTECTION
Farmer keeps streams healthy
cutting alfalfa in his field off Landisville
Road in East Hempfield Township serves
as a reminder of the hard work of Lan-
fairgoers on life on the farm. farms is good for everyone. by planting native trees. caster County’s agricultural community.

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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 3

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AG WEEK SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, OCT. 7 More: Details at landisvalleymuseum.
org/index.php/visit/calendar-events/
n Event: Interactive display on Penn october-7-8/
Square.
Where: 23 N. Market St.
When: 8 a.m. to noon. MONDAY, OCT. 9
Details: The event takes place during n Event: Virtual Kick-Off of videos and
the Harvest Breakfast at Central Market. social media interactions to “Thank a
Come ready to ask a farmer about Farmer.”
agriculture. No RSVP required. Details: Videos will highlight local
More: centralmarketlancaster.com elementary school children touring farms
and thanking farmers. Also includes
videos created by high school FFA
n Event: 58th annual Harvest Days members. Visit:
Festival at Landis Valley.
­— lancasteragcouncil.com
Where: 2451 Kissel Hill Road.
­— facebook.com/LancasterCounty/
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., running through AgricultureCouncil
Sunday, Oct. 8.
— lancastercountyagweek.com
Details: A celebration of Pennsylvania
Dutch Harvest traditions at Landis Valley ­— lancasteronline.com
Village & Farm Museum. Demonstrations
will include apple butter making, tavern
cooking, coopering, spinning and weaving, TUESDAY, OCT. 10
heirloom apple tasting and more. Watch n Event: Apprenticeship program
and talk with traditional craftspeople. for agricultural equipment service
FILE PHOTO Lots of family-friendly activities including technicians, “A Job that Pays.”
A little girl checks out the pumpkins during 2016’s Harvest Days Festival at Landis Valley horse drawn wagon rides, music and food.
Village & Farm Museum in Manheim Township. Entrance fees apply. Continued, page 5

   

    


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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 5

Continued from 4 THURSDAY, OCT. 12 FRIDAY, OCT. 13


Where: Landis Valley Village and Farm n Event: “Agriculture and the n Event: “A Time of Harvest” at Rough
Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road. Environment.” and Tumble Historical Association.
When: 10 a.m. to noon. Where: Lancaster Farm & Home Center, Details: Modern agriculture is a
1383 Arcadia Road. technologically advanced science. But,
Details: Pennsylvania Agriculture modern agriculture wouldn’t be where
Secretary Russell Redding will roll out When: Time to be announced on it is today if it wasn’t for pioneering
a new apprenticeship program for lancastercountyagweek.com. inventions. Agriculture’s heritage is on
graduating high-schoolers who are Details: Farmers are the original stewards working display at “A Time of Harvest.”
interested in hands-on learning of how of the land. Many farmers in Lancaster Rough and Tumble’s last show of the year
to service equipment (a field known County have installed best management includes activities for children, as well as
as mechatronics). Apprenticeship practices to maintain soil on their farms steam trains, gas engines and steam track FILE PHOTO
opportunities will be available through and to improve local water quality. engines, plus corn husking and machinery The Hands-on House pumpkin farming
local farm equipment dealers. No RSVP Improving local water is a responsibility demonstrations. Enter the gift shop, tell exhibit runs throughout October.
required. of all residents and sectors of the county, them you are part of Ag Week, and you
not just farmers. Find out what the will receive a free show pin. pumpkins. Also, check out the permanent
Lancaster County Clean Water Working When: Runs through Oct. 14. exhibit, “Little Valley Farm.’’
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 11 Group is doing to coordinate efforts and
Where: 4997 Lincoln Highway East, More: Admission fees apply. Details
see results. available at handsonhouse.org.
n Event: 3rd annual “Denim & Pearls” Kinzers.
5-Star Dinner on the Farm.
n Event: Tree planting in New Holland. More: Admission fees apply. Details at
Where: Stoltzfus Homestead and Garden,
3716 E. Newport Road, Gordonville. Where: 221 Phillip Road, New Holland.
roughandtumble.org/viewreference/44/
eventschedules/.
ALL WEEK
When: 1-3 p.m. n Event: Behind-the-scenes tour
When: 6-9:30 p.m. throughout the county.
Details: Farms positively impact water
Details: This farm-to-fork dinner
celebrates the bountiful foods produced quality in Lancaster County by installing ALL MONTH When: Tours during the week.
by Lancaster County farms. This year’s vegetative stream buffers, along n Event: Pumpkin farming exhibit in The Details: Tours will be available at
dinner will feature a raffle to win a with other practices. For a hands-on Clubhouse at Hands-on House. Lancaster County’s farms and agri-
Mikimoto pearl and diamond pendant opportunity to plant trees for water quality businesses. Organized by the Lancaster
improvement, join the Lancaster County Where: Hands-on House, Children’s Chamber of Commerce. Tours are free.
necklace set in 18K yellow gold, donated Museum of Lancaster, 721 Landis Valley
by Ream Jewelers. Raffle tickets sold Conservation District and Tyson Foods at RSVPs are required and can be made
this farm. Volunteers should bring work Road. through Eventbrite, linked through the
ahead of time and at the event. Tickets
required. gloves and a shovel, if available. When: Special focus throughout October. chamber website. Specific instructions
More: RSVP to Shelly Dehoff, 717-880- may apply for the tours.
More: Information or to purchase tickets, Details: The number and types of farmers
visit oregondairy.com/product/denim- 0848; shellydehoff@lancasterconservation. growing food and fiber is bountiful. More: Details are at lancasterchamber.
org. Learn more about what it takes to grow com/events.
and-pearls-dinner-reservation.

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6 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

BEHIND THE STANDS


BUSINESS

Life at a Central Market stand has a rhythm and cycle all its own
Kathleen JENNIFER KOPF

I
Stoltzfus, JKOPF@LNPNEWS.COM
of Tulip
Tree Hill t doesn’t matter whether your produce
Farm at
Central stand at Lancaster Central Market is large or
Market, small, or how many people work there.
hands an You’ll spend a lot of time tending to pro-
item to a
customer. duce, harvesting it or buying the best at auction.
You’ll spend a lot of time lugging it into refrigera-
tion or packing it into coolers. You’ll load trucks,
unload them and then load them up again. You’ll
write out price signs and then rewrite them as pric-
es fluctuate.
And it really, really helps to be a morning person.
There’s a routine to it all, a rhythm that Bruce
Markey of Meck’s Produce compares to the movie
“Groundhog Day.” But instead of Bill Murray’s Phil
learning how to be a better person by reliving the
same day over and over, standholders at market
find that Groundhog Day rhythm in working out a
structured schedule that works for them.
Here’s how two Lancaster stands run: the long-
BLAINE T. SHAHAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Continued, page 7

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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 7

This is
Continued from 6 Meck’s
time Meck’s Produce stand and Tulip Tree Produce
Hill Farm, a relative newcomer that’s held in Central
Market.
down a spot for 6 1/2 years.

Meck’s Produce
Twice a week, in the middle of the night,
Bob Meck heads to the big produce auc-
tion in Philadelphia. There, he purchases
everything Meck’s sells at their farm stand
that’s not grown on their 60-acre farm in
southern Lancaster County. Even though
their local crops are extensive, Markey
says, with many small plots devoted to dif-
ferent crops, there’s always something that
needs to be purchased that’s not in season
locally.
So Sunday and Wednesday nights for
40 years, Bob Meck has done the round-
trip drive — roughly 33 times around the
earth’s circumference in all — to keep the
market stand stocked.
Bob is also the guy who has made many
of the price tags — black markered letters,
outlined in color — that are a hallmark of
Meck’s.
The night before a market day, Markey,
who is the stand manager, works either
solo or with assistant manager Phil Bartelt
Continued, page 8 BLAINE T. SHAHAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
8 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

Continued from 7 wiped off and disinfected. The refriger-


and Ryan Meck, farm manager, to load ated cases get cleaned.
up a refrigerated truck with produce. And next market day, Groundhog Day
Around 2:30 a.m. on market days, the strikes again.
truck and the workers arrive at the
markethouse on Penn Square to un- Tulip Tree Hill
load.
Customers begin to trickle in at 6 She’s the planter, the crop-tender, the
a.m. and the most challenging part of harvester, the packager, the seller and
Markey’s day begins: customer service. the setup and cleanup crew.
With nine or 10 colleagues on a slower But that suits Kathleen Stoltzfus just
day; a dozen or 14 on brisk Saturdays, fine.
the Meck’s crew works to keep custom- After 25 years as a graphic designer,
ers moving and a runner restocks pro- Stoltzfus started her market stand a
duce continually from the truck kept little over six years ago. And despite the
parked outside. pace, the hours and the risk of running
“Most of the employees aren’t Mecks her own business, she has no regrets.
— they ran out of brothers,” Markey “I was interested in growing things
laughs. “Though a lot of them are relat- ever since I was a kid,” Stoltzfus says,
ed in some way; everybody knows each “but I was also interested in art.” So she
other. A lot of the girls who work here, FILE PHOTO
went to school and pursued that career
they go to school together (or) know Meck’s Produce stand at Central Market in 1974. first before starting to do research for a
each other from church.” transition to a new job and a new, cycli-
As closing time approaches (4 p.m. on Otherwise, it all needs to go back to back in refrigeration until it can be cal pace.
Tuesdays and Fridays; 2 p.m. on Satur- the farm. checked and reloaded — again — for an- Stoltzfus now has a person come help
days), there’s no just turning out the “We’re running stuff out (to the re- other trip to market.” her at the farm one day a week, but all
lights and walking out the door. frigerated truck) as soon as we can turn Behind the stand, there’s another the rest of the tasks involved with run-
“The only things that can stay are, the lights out,” Markey says. “As they’re good hour of work before Markey can ning a market stand fall to her. With
like, potatoes and onions, and that’s taking it out, Phil is trying to fit it back head home: All the wood boards cov- market days on Tuesdays, Fridays and
only if it’s cool” and only on Fridays in the truck on skids for the ride home. ering the market stand floor come up. Saturdays, she reserves Mondays and
when there’s market the next day. There it’s unloaded — again — and put The floor gets swept. Everything gets Continued, page 9

    


 
           
 
     
   
           



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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 9

Continued from 8 Kathleen


Thursdays — at least half the day — for harvesting. Stoltzfus,
of Tulip
In the summer, that means working both outside on Tree Hill
the Holtwood and in the farm’s 2,500-square-foot Farm at
greenhouse. Central
Market,
In the winter she spends more time in the green- waits on
house, but the end result is the same: microgreens, custom-
shoots, salad mixes, wheatgrass, some vegetables ers.
and a few fruits that all need to be gathered and put
in cooler bins overnight in preparation for loading
and an early-morning drive to market.
“I try to get here no later than 6:30” a.m., Stoltzfus
says. “We’re not always busy first thing in the morn-
ing, so it’s a good use of time to bag” salad greens,
shoots and microgreens at the market stand.
Since starting the Tulip Tree Hill stand, Stoltzfus
has adapted some of her offerings. Long-term in-
vestments in fruit production have started to pay off,
with early September bringing figs and plums, along
with old-fashioned Concord grapes.
Her produce is not certified organic, Stoltzfus says
— “I can’t stand the paperwork and the fees involved,
and I don’t see a big gain (in pursuing certification)
because I can talk to my customers one-on-one.”
But, because it is an important distinction for many
of her customers, she does follow organic practices.
As a one-woman show, she says, “no, there’s not a
lot of time off — but, at the same time, I enjoy it, and
I’m working for myself, so there’s some satisfaction
in building your own business instead of someone
else’s.” BLAINE T. SHAHAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

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FAIR QUESTIONS
COMMUNITY

County fairs offer chance to interact with farmers


Garrett CHARLENE M. SHUPP ESPENSHADE

L
Jenkins LANCASTER FARMING
holds a
goat for ancaster County has a rich tradition
Harper
Richards, of country fairs, more than most other
2, and her populous counties in the nation.
mother, For many urban and suburban resi-
Jamie, to
see at the dents, strolling through the livestock stalls at one
Elizabeth- of these fairs offers the best opportunity to meet
town Fair. a real farmer.
Garrett Jenkins, a freshman at Morrisville State
College who just wrapped up a term as FFA state
sentinel for Pennsylvania, knows this for a fact.
He has spent hours answering questions from
these folks while exhibiting animals from his
family’s herd of 40 Boer goats in Bainbridge.
“The fair is the one time that we have the oppor-
tunity to interact with the local community, and
it’s really important to interact with them and tell
them our agriculture story,” he says.
There’s no question too minor or inconsequen-
tial for a fairgoer to ask, Jenkins says, and he’d
CHARLENE SHUPP ESPENSHADE Continued, page 12

  


 
 



   
       


  
 
    
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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 11

        


   


  
  


    




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12 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

Garrett
Jenkins
answers
questions
from Caitlin
and Jordan
Stoeffler at
the Eliza-
bethtown
Fair’s pet-
ting zoo.

CHARLENE SHUPP ESPENSHADE

Continued from 10 him to explain everything from live- a U.S. farmer, it’s not coming down with Jenkins after a show.
prefer they ask him rather than stock tags to various animal man- very fast,” he says. “It’s very impor- “I know a lot of other farms and
search the internet. agement techniques. tant that the younger folks in this business outlets use social media to
“There are a lot of things that could He also spends a lot of time cor- industry can get out there. get their story out,” he says.
be portrayed a little differently than recting erroneous assumptions. For “We tend to be the ones more Jenkins, who is a member of the
what industry is really doing,” he instance, people tend to believe that wired into the internet and on so- Elizabethtown FFA chapter, says
says. “This is the chance for the pub- only male goats have horns, when in cial media,” Jenkins says. “It gives
fairs often stimulate young people
lic to see these animals be shown, talk fact both male and female goats can us more chances to share with the
to start their own FFA or 4-H proj-
to the exhibitors and talk to the peo- have horns. public.’’
ple who are doing this day in and day Most farmers relish the chance His family’s farm has a website ects, and ultimately careers in agri-
out and know what they are doing.” to have face-to-face conversations and Facebook page to provide up- culture.
with the public, Jenkins says, but dates on how its goats perform at lo- He says that, after he graduates
Explaining the farm they’re not always good at relaying cal, regional and national shows. from college, he would like to be-
the message in a 21st-century way. Those digital platforms also pro- come a dairy herdsman or work in
Jenkins says people have asked “If you look at the average age of vide a way for people to reconnect dairy nutrition or reproduction.

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Lyme Disease Symptoms


Please check if you have the symptoms listed below:
• TTwitches of facial or other • Difficulty with speech, think
muscles? one thing and another
• Headaches, sometimes word comes out?
• U
Unexplained
nexpllaiined
d ffever,
ev chills, or days at a time? • Mood swings, irritability,
sweats? • Neck creaks/cracks - depression, crying for no
• Unexplained weight
Unexp stiffness? reason?
changes, gain or loss? • Stiffness of the joints or • Disturbed sleep - increased,
• Fatigue, tiredness, back? decreased or nightmares,
especially around 3 P.M.? night sweats?
• Tingling, numbness,
• Unexplained swollen burning or stabbing • Exaggerated symptoms
glands? sensations? from alcohol?
• Chronic sore throat or sinus • Facial paralysis - Bell’s • Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel,
infections Palsy? Chronic Fatigue, Epstein
• Testicular/pelvic pain? Barr or M.S.?
• Double or blurry vision,
• Unexplained menstrual floaters, pain, light • Do you feel like dying?
irregularity? sensitivity? • Have you seen multiple
• Irritable bladder or bladder • Buzzing or ringing in ears, doctors without success?
dysfunction? ear pain, sensitivity to • Do people say you are a
• Sexual dysfunction or loss sound? “hypochondriac” or tell you
of libido? it’s in your head?
• Dizziness, poor balance,
• Stomach problems? increased motion sickness?
• Change in bowel function, Partial proceeds of
constipation, diarrhea? • Light-headed? book go toward Lyme
• Chest pains? • Confusion, difficulty disease research
thinking? for humans and
• Shortness of breath/cough?
• Heart palpitations, heart • Difficulty with partial proceeds
block, racing heart, slow concentration, reading, or go toward K-9 dogs
beat? following plots? in all services.
• Muscle pain/cramps? • Disorientation, getting lost,
• Joint pain/swelling that going to wrong places?
come & go - knees, hips, • Decreased short term
ankles, wrists? memory loss?
Dr. Gregory and Debra Bach

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14 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP | AG WEEK 2017 15

EXPORTS, FAR AND WIDE


LANCASTER COUNTY EXPORTS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. HERE’S A LOOK AT WHAT WE EXPORT, WHERE IT GOES AND HOW MUCH IT’S WORTH.

C A N A DA

UNITED
KINGDOM GERMANY
WA
OR NY NETHERLANDS
U.S.A. MA
RI BELGIUM
NJ CN
DE
J A PA N

UNITED
CA TX VA MD C H I N A
FL

KINGDOM
SOUTH KOREA
UNITED

GERMANY
DOMINICAN A R A B PHILIPPINES
MEXICO REPUBLIC EMIRATES

NY
BRAZIL
NETHERLANDS
BELGIUM
MA
CN RI

NJ
MD DE
VA
CHILE

FL. REGIONAL NATIONAL INTERNATIONAL


Primarily the East Coast from Massachusetts to Virginia Primarily the East and West Coasts and the South North and South America, Europe and Asia

$256M $166M $632M $468M $161M $730M $291M $120M


n Feed n Snack Food n Candy n Cheese n Poultry n Horticulture Products n Dairy Products n Soybeans

$28M $391M $487M $334M $261M $619M $136M $113M


n Fluid Milk n Meat (other than chicken) n Cereal n Ice Cream n Bakeries n Forest Products n Feed n Eggs
LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 15

DOUBLE TRUCK
WITH PAGE 14.

PLEASE DO NOT
PUT ANYTHING ON THIS PAGE.

THANK YOU.
16 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

KREAM OF THE CROP


BUSINESS

Organic dairy processors enable hardworking farmers to focus on ‘doing their thing’
Hand-dipped ERIC HURLOCK

D
ice cream is LANCASTER FARMING
a big draw
at King’s airy farming can be a tough way to make a
Kreamery.
living, especially when milk prices barely
cover the cost of keeping cows, as they’ve
been the past couple of years.
However, “at the end of the day, dairy farming is still
a good way to raise a family,” says Christ Blank of Salis-
bury Township, where he and his wife, Anna Mae, are
not only raising two children but also a herd of 33 milk
cows and various other animals.
Blank says the farm is just the right size for the four of
them. They can manage everything themselves, espe-
cially since they stopped growing corn and started graz-
ing their herd on grass.
Just before 5 a.m. every day, the cows come into the
barn for milking before returning to the pasture where
they graze until the next milking at 5 p.m.
Then, it’s out to a different paddock in the pasture for
the night.
Blank keeps his herd continually grazing and, by ad-
justing the size of the paddocks with movable electric
ERIC HURLOCK Continued, page 17

Serving Our Customers Since 1964


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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 17

Continued from 16 But the creamery also produces yogurt,


fencing, he keeps his herd on fresh grass butter and bottled milk, and sells a vari-
all the time. ety of local cheeses and specialty prod-
In the summer, it takes 30 days for the ucts like yogurt made from sheep’s milk.
cows to end up in the paddock where “Ice cream is our main seller now,” says
they started. In winter, Blank moves the Melvin Stoltzfus, King’s general manager.
herd less frequently and supplements the “We’re trying to build the cheese and milk
cows’ diet with hay he buys from John Di- and yogurt to help with our winter sales.”
etz, an organic hay farmer in York County. Behind the store’s dairy cases and ice We stock Shurco
Blank’s farm has been certified organic cream coolers is a clean and shiny pro- roll tarp parts!
since 2010 because he recognized that cessing room full of stainless steel equip-
the market for organic, grass-fed dairy ment: an 85-gallon pasteurizer, milk bot- Check our prices!
products was getting stronger all the tler, and yogurt- and ice cream-makers.
time and — similar to direct retail sales “A lot of people ask us, ‘Do you make From parts to
— would pay better than the market for it yourself?’ ”Stoltzfus says. “Yes, we do. complete systems
regular milk. The milk comes from a few local farm-
“I really don’t work much with the cus- ers. So it does make them feel they’re still with our
tomer, and that’s how I prefer it because supporting local.” custom-fabricated
I’m busy doing my thing,’’ Blank says. While the trend lately is for consumers
“So I really appreciate King’s Kreamery to buy directly from the farmer, King’s aluminum end caps.
and Oasis stepping in and marketing my Kreamery provides a local bridge be-
product.” tween the farmer and consumer. Install a SHUR-LOK
Blank sells half his milk to Commu- John Beiler, the plant manager who on your trailer!
nity of Oasis at Bird-in-Hand, an organic oversees the dairy processing at King’s,
dairy processor in Ronks. The rest goes is a former dairy farmer who knows first- View our all-new
to King’s Kreamery in East Lampeter hand what it takes to be a farmer and a
Township, where the milk is made into processor.
website at
grass-fed, organic yogurt. “If you start processing your own milk www.zimmomatic.com!
King’s Kreamery sits along the north on the farm,” he says, “you sorta get away
side of Old Philadelphia Pike, just east of from the farming thing and get so much
Lancaster city, and is best known for its into the business thing that it makes it a
hand-dipped ice cream. challenge.”

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18 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

SUPER FRESH FOOD


BUSINESS

Local chefs have yearslong relationships with farms


Tim Carr, MARY ELLEN WRIGHT

W
chef-owner MWRIGHT@LNPNEWS..COM
of Carr’s
Restaurant hen “locally sourced” and “farm-
in Lancaster,
holds a dish to-table” became buzzwords in the
of breaded restaurant industry several years
eggplant and ago, Lancaster County eateries had
heirloom to-
matoes made already long been on that bandwagon.
with produce In this garden spot of a county, local restaurants
from local had years of experience in relying on area farmers for
farms.
produce, meat, dairy products and more.
Over the years, many local chefs have developed
lasting business relationships with those farmers.
Tim Carr, chef-owner of Carr’s Restaurant, gets
much of his produce right across the alley from his
Market Street restaurant in downtown Lancaster.
“For our produce, we use Groff’s (Vegetables) at
Lancaster Central Market,” Carr says.
At that stand, Earl S. Groff and members of his fam-
ily sell vegetables they grow on their Bird-in-Hand
farm.
“Mr. Groff would epitomize the old-style truck
BLAINE T. SHAHAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Continued, page 19

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Continued from 18 chicken he uses at the eatery from from pasture-raised animals. shrub.
farmer,” Carr says. “Most everything Shady Acres farm just outside Eliza- The Pressroom buys some of its Other local chef-based businesses
he sells at his stand ... he grows at his bethtown, a family business that spe- cheese from Goot Essa, a Howard, deal with favorite local farms, as well.
place down in Bird-in-Hand. cializes in pasture-raised poultry. Centre County, company that uses Rebecca and Michael Bedenbaugh
“A lot of our specials are based on Morgan also buys brown, cage-free milk from a nearby Amish dairy farm, are preparing to start their Lancaster
what Groff’s has right now,” Carr says. eggs that come from Sandy Ridge the chef said. Fellow Foodies delivery service, the
The heirloom tomatoes Carr uses Farm in Elizabethtown. mission of which is to provide train-
come from Steve Messner’s small A lot of the fruits and vegetables in Other local goods ing and good jobs in preparing and
farm in Strasburg and are grown dishes on The Black Gryphon’s menu doing home delivery of ready-to-cook
there by Peter Kovalec, a local pastry come from Masser’s Produce, which It’s not only meat and produce that meals made with fresh, local ingredi-
chef. sells its locally grown fruits and vege- local restaurants get from area farm- ents.
“He grows between 100 and 125 tables at the Farmstead farmers mar- ers. Part of the Bedenbaughs’ mission,
tomato plants a year” and sells to a ket in Palmyra. John Costanzo, general manager they say, is to support small farms,
handful of area restaurants, Carr says. Daniel Quishpe, executive chef at of the Belvedere Inn in downtown especially ones that are just getting
Carr buys cheese from Oasis at The Pressroom Restaurant in Lan- Lancaster, says his restaurant gets started, by buying their meat and
Bird-in-Hand, a consortium of Amish caster, also uses meat and produce the herbs and botanicals it uses in its produce once the home delivery food
dairy farms based in Ronks. from area farmers in his dishes. cocktails from Lancaster Farmacy. business begins.
Toeny Morgan, who recently re- “We try to use a lot of local pro- “We use them in a lot of our simple They plan to get some of their pro-
opened his Black Gryphon restaurant duce,” Quishpe says. “And we’re look- syrups” that go into the specialty li- duce from Wenger at Field’s Edge,
in Mount Joy Township — rebuilt af- ing for more farms to work with.” bations, Costanzo says. and have also been in talks with fami-
ter a December 2016 fire — also has In addition to buying fresh local Lancaster Farmacy is a farm out- lies that run Promised Land Farm in
long-established relationships with produce at Lancaster Central Mar- side Lancaster city, run by Elisabeth Millersville — “Their garlic is amaz-
local farmers. ket, he says, he gets some of his pro- Weaver and Casey Spacht, which ing,” Michael Bedenbaugh says — and
“Our main meat producer that duce from Horse Shoe Ranch in Wil- grows herbs, tea blends, flowers and Horse Shoe Ranch.
we get all our beef and pork from is low Street, and from Alex Wenger, a more. “Farm-to-table has always been a
Breakaway Farms right over here in farmer and plant breeder at Field’s The herbs used behind the bar at the part of Lancaster County culture,”
Mount Joy,” Morgan says. “They’re Edge Research Farm near Lititz. Belvedere include fragrant holy basil, Carr says.
a phenomenal small, family-run “We just started working with an- which Costanzo said lends an almost “Now,” he adds, “it’s becoming more
(farm) — all grass-fed, free-range other farm, Mirror Image Farms,” blueberry-like flavor to a cocktail. important — the provenance, where
(livestock).” Quishpe says. The Bainbridge farm Mint is also used in such beverages your food comes from and how it was
Morgan says he gets a lot of the specializes in beef, pork and poultry as the restaurant’s raspberry-mint raised.”

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20 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

FOOD FOCAL POINT


BUSINESS

Cooperation enables farmers and benefits consumers


Casey Spacht, AD CRABLE

U
executive ACRABLE@LNPNEWS.COM
director of
Lancaster nheard of a few decades ago, the emer-
County Farm
Fresh Coop- gence of “food hubs” in Lancaster
erative, loads County has revolutionized local agri-
and checks culture, providing immense benefits to
boxes of fresh
produce from both local farmers and consumers.
farms across A trio of weekly — primarily wholesale and large
Lancaster quantity — auctions in Lancaster County offer farm-
County for
distribution. ers a dependable outlet for as much produce, flowers
and shrubbery as they want to grow.
They can haul their current crop to market in the
morning, get a guaranteed paycheck and be back to
farming by afternoon.
At the same time, farmers, Plain Sect ones, are dis-
covering the advantage of strength in numbers and
forming cooperatives.
Five of the six cooperatives here have formed since
2006. All five are made up almost exclusively of
Amish and Mennonite farmers.
By pooling money to solve marketing, transporta-
RICHARD HERTZLER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Continued, page 21

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A little
Amish Continued from 20 “The whole consumer demand
girl at tion and large-order problems, co- has driven what you see now in Lan-
the Leola operative farmers are finding once- caster County,” says Jeff Stoltzfus, a
Produce
Auction. impossible niche markets. Penn State Extension food safety ed-
Fresh-off-the vine produce is find- ucator who helped a group of Plain
ing hungry markets with trendy su- Sect farmers form the Lancaster
permarkets and chic eateries from County Vegetable Farmers Coopera-
Washington, D.C., to New York City. tive in 2008 with an anchor of local
sweet onions.
Push for sustainable food The co-op, which started as an
experiment with three farmers in
The growing nationwide demand 2003, now has about 100 participat-
for fresh, sustainable farming boun- ing farmers.
ty is feeding the success of both pro- It’s meant more and more farmers
duce auctions and cooperatives. turning corn and soybean acres into
Local and regional grocery stores, gardens. For some struggling dairy
as well as such upscale supermarkets farmers, the food hubs have become
as Wegmans, stock fresh off-the-vine a life preserver.
produce from Lancaster County on “In agriculture, the future is pro-
their shelves. duce,” Stoltzfus says. “In produce,
A growing network of consumer- people see if they go out there and
formed organic and sustainable- do a good job, the market will reward
farming food cooperatives has them.”
pushed demand for Lancaster Coun- By banding together, local farmers
ty farmers to grow more and change have seen demand for their products
how they grow it. go literally worldwide.
The Mid-Atlantic Food Coopera-
tive Alliance, for example, has 31 Niche food
co-ops and buying clubs in six states
and purchases $150 million worth of The niche markets that local pro-
RICHARD HERTZLER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER food from farmers a year. Continued, page 22

  


  
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22 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

RICHARD HERTZLER | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOS

Above, an
Continued from 21 auctioneer at
duce, as well as dairy products, have found be- Leola Produce
cause of food hubs is dizzying. Auction sells
pumpkins.
You’ll find cultured butter made by participat- Right, people
ing farmers of the Community of Oasis at Bird- survey differ-
in-Hand at restaurants of famed French chef and ent pumpkins
for sale.
culinary authority Daniel Boulud in New York,
Singapore and London.
The burgeoning Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop-
erative offers community-supported agriculture
for everything from herbal medicine to gluten-
free bread to summer cheeses.
Fresh produce sold by co-ops are trucked al-
most daily to eateries in Baltimore, New York,
Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Benefits to consumers
In addition to sustaining area farmers, local
consumers also benefit. Sure, roadside stands for
fresh fruit and vegetables still abound. But chain
Continued, page 23

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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 23

CHRIS KNIGHT | LNP CORRESPONDENT PHOTOS

A worker pulls stalks of rainbow chard to be packed into boxes for delivery to CSA
customers at the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative in Rohrerstown.

Continued from 22 farmer and consumer are relative-


grocery stores that once bought old- ly new.
er, frozen produce from California In the old days, a typical small-
and other distant states now buy lo- size farmer growing produce had
cal and buy fresh. few choices. He could erect a road-
“Produce auctions have raised the side stand and hope he sold every-
bar in local produce quality,” notes thing picked that day, or approach
Stoltzfus, who grows pumpkins, a grocery store and take whatever
strawberries and raises beef cattle they felt like paying.
on his farm near Atglen and sells And stores usually wanted more
them at local auctions. produce than a single farmer was
“It has increased the amount of offering or had a vehicle large
produce by many acres and has giv- enough to haul.
en a lot of options for consumers to The emergence of produce auc-
buy fresh, local produce.” tions and cooperatives strength-
And cooperatives such as the non- ened the farmer’s bargaining
profit Lancaster Farm Fresh are power and marketing has made
based in a strong ethic of land pres- Lancaster County-grown a key to
ervation and combating sprawl. success.
“We want to create a culture of “The auctions and the coopera-
goodness,” says Casey Spacht, ex- tives allow the farmer to have own-
ecutive director of the cooperative, ership and control,” observes Peg-
which built a new 68,000-square- gy Fogarty-Harnish, who heads the
foot warehouse and office in East Keystone Development Center,
Hempfield Township. which has help launched several
“When we started, our goal was to regional cooperatives.
create this livelihood for farmers to “The Plain Sect farmers are a
take care of the land base.” community-based culture and
they know how to work together,
The way it was collaborate and understand lead-
ership. They seem to be really
These improved choices for both growing this model.”

Workers pack boxes with fruits and vegetables to be delivered to customers at the
Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative in Rohrerstown.
24 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

OLD SCHOOL FARM


COMMUNITY

Brilyn Acres taps local processor to preserve earlier farming style


Lynette DICK WANNER

B
and Brian LANCASTER FARMING
Sauder
sell beef rian and Lynette Sauder live at the end of
and pork
products a lane that leads to a 19th-century farm-
directly to house on 90 acres of preserved farmland
consum- just outside Akron.
ers from
their farm That lane also leads to a style of agriculture that
outside has its roots in the 19th century. But at the same
Akron. time, the Sauders’ small-scale livestock operation
is completely in sync with 21st-century processing
requirements.
Their business, Brilyn Acres, focuses on serving a
growing number of consumers who want to know
who is producing their meat and how they’re doing
it.
The Sauders moved to Brilyn Acres in 2005. The
farm had been owned by Brian Sauder’s grandfather,
who operated it as a small dairy.
The couple didn’t see dairy farming as a viable op-
tion for them, so they bought a few head of Angus
cattle and started selling halves and quarters of beef.
They say it gradually became apparent that most
people didn’t have freezers big enough to hold that
much meat, so they contacted Smucker’s Meats in
Mount Joy for help.
Smucker’s core business is processing locally
grown livestock for farmers who want to market
their own products.
According to Mike Smucker, one of the family
members who run the business, the Sauders are far
from alone in contracting with them.
Having access to a facility like Smucker’s, which is
inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is
necessary for anybody who wants to sell packaged
meat to the general public.
Smucker says his family’s business is booked for
the next year with farmers bringing their animals in
from an area that stretches from western Pennsyl-
DICK WANNER Continued, page 25

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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 25

Continued from 24 Their cattle mostly eat grass, except


vania east to New Jersey, north to for the final month before they head
New York’s Finger Lakes and south to to market when they also get corn
Virginia. grown at Brilyn Acres.
Brian Sauder says the couple buy
Demand is high Angus calves at about 500 pounds
from farmers they know.
Many, like the Sauders, are from “We buy privately because we need
Lancaster County. As Lynette Sauder to be certain they haven’t been im-
sees it, consumer demand is driving planted with any kind of drug or hor-
the market, and there doesn’t seem to mone to make them grow faster,” he
be an end in sight. says.
Brian Sauder, who refers to him- The animals remain at Brilyn Acres
self as “the farmer’s husband,” sees it for about two years as they grow to a
much the same way. market weight of about 1,000 to 1,200
Whatever he calls himself, one sus- pounds.
pects the farmer’s husband spends The Sauders also raise purebred
a lot of time planting and harvesting Berkshire hogs, a heritage breed that
the farm’s considerable acreage of has more marbling than most of the
corn, soybeans and grass hay when hogs fed to market weight in enclosed
he’s not working as parts manager for barns.
Binkley and Hurst, a farm equipment The Sauders say they don’t give
dealership in Rothsville. their animals any feed with drugs,
But the farmer herself has obviously hormones or animal byproducts. And
BRILYN ACRES

Brilyn Acres consists of 90 acres of preserved farmland located just outside of Akron.
put in a lot of time researching breeds, they give them room to roam.
feeding regimens, markets and evolv- When there’s grass in the mead- leave their pen at will to go out and is about a half mile from Brilyn Acres
ing consumer preferences. ows, the cattle prefer to stay in the about, root in the dirt and be pigs “the on Rothsville Road.
Angus beef has long been favored by pastures. Come fall, when grass is in way they were meant to be.” But they also sell by appointment
consumers for its marbling and fla- short supply, they’ll show up at the The Sauders sell most of their beef directly to customers who contact
vor and was an obvious choice for the barn for an afternoon ration of hay. and pork cuts, bacon and hamburger them at brilynacres@gmail.com or
Sauders. And the pigs, Lynette Sauder says, through Reiff’s Farm Market, which 717-859-4513.

  
   

    



 
  
  
 
 
  
  
   
   
 
 
     
   



      

 
    
   
   
  
 
  
 

   


  
   
  
   

   
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26 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

BACK TO NATURE
ENVIRONMENT

Farmers’ efforts to help environment benefit their farms


A farm dog PHILIP GRUBER

I
surveys the LANCASTER FARMING
riparian
buffer on n the rich hues of morning light, the red-
Mahlon
Stoltzfus’ buds, maples and river birches along Mill
farm in Earl Creek are stunning.
Township. They’re all native trees, the younger ones
Native
trees and still in protective tree tubes, the older ones big
shrubs pre- enough to shade the stream and give fish the cool
vent ero- water they need to thrive.
sion and
provide a Mahlon Stoltzfus’ cattle — eight or 10 dairy and
cool, shady beef animals he keeps for family use — go down for
habitat for a drink at the stream.
fish.
Usually farmers are told to fence cattle out of
streams. They can destabilize the banks and sully
the water with manure.
But Stoltzfus has used an accepted alternative,
fencing in a small area of the creek for drinking.
Concrete slats on the stream bank keep the soil in
place.
Stoltzfus, of Earl Township, is one of many Lan-
caster County farmers who are doing things on
PHILIP GRUBER Continued, page 27

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LANCASTER FARMING | LNP AG WEEK 2017 27

Continued from 26 trapping the nutrients that have ter Research Center in Avondale
their farms to help the environ- been feeding algae blooms in the sweetened the deal by funding
ment. Chesapeake Bay. stormwater improvements on
Often, these strategies have big “We always did like the idea of his farm.
benefits on the farm. habitat for wildlife and birds,” Farm conservation practices
Cover crops such as ryegrass says Stoltzfus, one of 276 farmers have become a major tool in re-
and radishes enhance the soil in Lancaster County who have ducing pollution in the Chesa-
and protect it from erosion be- contracts with the U.S. Depart- peake Bay watershed, regardless
tween cash crops. ment of Agriculture’s Conser- of who pays for them.
Many farmers have switched vation Reserve Enhancement When the cleanup launched in
to no-till implements, which, Program, which funds riparian 2010, there were no statistics on
unlike traditional tillage equip- buffers. how much conservation work
ment, preserve the soil structure. Together, these buffers cover farmers were doing on their
Large, cylindrical manure stor- 1,300 acres, according to Ashley own dime, so the Environmental
age units keep animal waste from Spotts, the restoration specialist Protection Agency didn’t count
running off into streams before it for the Chesapeake Bay Founda- them.
can be spread on fields. tion who handles the county’s Farmers protested, and last
buffer applications through a year a Penn State University
Good for farm and life USDA contract. survey documented the acres of
Stoltzfus planted most of his buffers and miles of stream bank
Farmers have adopted these trees four years ago, expanding fencing EPA will now count.
conservation practices not only an earlier planting to cover 8 of Meanwhile, on Stoltzfus’ farm,
for the farm benefits but also be- the farm’s 33 acres. the conservation work is paying
cause they improve life in the lo- He gave up 2 or 3 acres of pas- off.
cal community. ture for the buffer and spends Erosion is way down. Deer
Riparian buffers — the stream- time clearing undergrowth and songbirds rustle throughout
side plantings of trees and shrubs around the young trees so ro- the buffer, and algae have disap-
like Stoltzfus’ — are particularly dents don’t eat the roots. peared, leaving the water clear.
good at providing homes for USDA lease payments compen- “We’re excited about seeing PHILIP GRUBER
deer and other animals in ad- sate him for taking the land out it another five years from now,” Mill Creek flows along a riparian buffer on Mahlon Stoltzfus’
dition to reducing erosion and of production, and Stroud Wa- Stoltzfus says. farm.


  

       
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28 AG WEEK 2017 LANCASTER FARMING | LNP

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