So one fine day of shopping, I found myself driving down the pleasingly hilly road on the way to the thrift shop when I saw the cheerful sign welcoming customers.
Pulling into the gravel driveway, a little boy pushing a lawnmower and some wash on the line were the only signs of life. My first thought was, my, this really is a remarkable collection of herbs. Anything you could think of and many you've never heard of were spread out in flats throughout several green houses and outdoor tables. It was not my intention to buy anything, until I saw every herb I had ever wanted to try, all young and healthy.
Soon, the owner greeted me and as we were chatting I found both the owner and her mother to be very congenial and helpful. We never even got around to discussing mutual acquaintances as I was so full of questions and they were so full of knowledge. And that is how I found myself at the cash register with lemon verbena, oregano, rosemary, chives, and an heirloom tomato plant all for less than I would have spent on seeds. Yes, that little shop really is a gem.
So this year I am increasing my herb garden to include new plants with my old favorites. This was so timely as I had this planter I wanted to fill....
...and if you think the planter might resemble a crock pot, you are right. A few weeks ago the stoneware insert for my six quart sprung a fracture in the bottom, making it impossible to use for cooking. But surely it would be good for something else?
While I'm mentioning new favorite places, I'd like to give a mention to an old favorite that happens to be just ten minutes from the Nook. It's a little grocery store- Hershey's Farm market.
Here is what I love about this store: Even though it is tiny, it has tons of great buys, old local brands that you don't see too many other places, and fresh vegetables. The meat selection is ridiculously large for such a small store, and high quality. All these things mean a lot since the large chain market where I do most of our shopping has recently scaled back their selection and raised their prices so they can open a "wine and spirit shop" inside the store. Yet, this little store thrives. Hershey's market is located not too far from a large Wal Mart with a packed parking lot, but there are only a few people at any give time in Hershey's. So when you are shopping there, it makes you feel like you know some great shopping secret that the masses down the street don't know about. (I shop at Wal Mart too, but this little treasure of a store would be my first stop.)
Amish farm, Morgantown, PA