Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pennsylvania Herbal Road Trip with Bonnie!

Bonnie and I enjoy going on herbal road trips together.  We have always said that our best times of the day are buying herb plants and having lunch, afternoon tea or dinner together.  So bottom line plants and food are our passions and frankly everything else is irrelevant!  Bonnie needed a break from her routine and so we headed to the east.  I worked on modeling our trip after one of Rosemary House's day trips which we couldn't go on because I was in England.  We were going to stop for lunch at one of our favorites, Jean Bonnet Tavern near Bedford, PA.  I see from their website that they have an herb garden and goats!  How did I miss that?  We stopped on our way home from the HSA national meeting last year on Mother's Day and while it was busy, we walked in and got a seat!  Love this place!

So I wanted to try something new, but tested and the ladies at Rosemary House came up with my answer, the tea cafe at the Oxford Hall Celtic Shop!  I had a chuckle with myself because of course, Bonnie remembered that New Cumberland is where we met up with the Rosemary House bus trips for years.  OK, so I forgot!  It is very easy to find.  Cindy and Steve Washburn have put their hearts and souls into the shop and the cafe.  They are running both the business and the cafe, cooking every day they are open!  Our hats off to their passion in life!  The cafe is a very small space, but they serve lovely fresh food.  I tried the tomato and pesto tart and Bonnie tried the Irish BLT.  Both were very good.  We took some sweet treats, a sugar cookie for me and a molasses one for Bonnie for the road.  Cindy told us the story of the business and talked about putting a green roof on the building and having a garden upstairs.  We would definitely like to see that the next time we are through New Cumberland!
Entrance to the Cafe with Lovely Garden Borders!
My Tomato and Pesto Tart Served with Salad on Top!
Lovely tomatoes in the center with pesto and phyllo pastry!
Bonnie's Irish BLT!
Next stop on the first day was the Ephrata Cloister one of the earliest religious communities in the United States founded in 1732.  Not much gardening here which was surprising.  It was a very peaceful place full of history though.
A Very Peaceful and Tranquil Place!
The Physican's Garden-A German Four Square with dye and medicinal plants
Our final stop on the first day was to Herbal Springs Farmstead.  I was using GPS but with the sound off at Bonnie's behest because she doesn't like to be told where to go!  Unfortunately, I got going the wrong way and the GPS was screaming to turn around even taking me around the block.  I thought it had gone crazy and turned it off.  Then we really got going the wrong way and ended in a bible church parking lot in a cornfield.  Such is life in central Pennsylvania!  We called and talked to the son who got us straightened out and Rhoda was waiting for us!  
A Farm Stand on Steroids!
Lovely Rhoda!  Just Thought of the Mary Tyler Moore Show When I Heard Her Name!
Their Vegetable Garden Behind the House
A Shed With Character!
Really Rhoda Martin has a passion and love of plants and she shows it in all of the choices she has for sale.  Unusual annuals and perennials and a very lovely selection of herbs.  She does hide some of the herbs (not really) but if you aren't looking in the right places, you will miss some real bargains.  And she was selling everything 50% off at the moment.  She said she had to stay competitive in Lancaster County.  We loved Rhoda's prices so much we started the third day with another stop at Rhoda's.  So all in all we had a great first day on the herbal hunt in Pennsylvania.  Can I just say in passing that small businesses need our support.  If you live in an area that has wonderful family owned and operated businesses, please support them with your business!  We ended the day with a steak at Carrabba's Italian Grill in Allentown.   Stay tuned for day two maybe tomorrow!

A beautiful hot and humid day here in the 'Burgh!  More plants to move around and plant!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Will be talking more herbs tomorrow as always.  Oh, BTW I have caught up on all of your comments and questions finally!  Talk to you later.


Rosemary said...

What a day full of adventures! Bountiful in so many ways!

Anonymous said...

Landis Valley Farm Museum in Lancaster area also has some nice historic gardens. Toured it and Ephrata cloister last summer!! Road trips are fun! shelley

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thanks Rosemary and it was so good to see both of you again! Bonnie and I loved our visit with you both! xo

Thought of it Shelley and then decided we would go some other time there! Thanks for reinforcing the choice! xo

Carol said...

Looks like a great time with friends and beautiful gardens.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

We always have a great time together Carol! xo