Stock up at your local farmers’ market

Emily Hepner
Assoc. Features Editor

If someone were to ask you, “What comes to mind when you think of Lancaster County,” how would you have responded? Before coming to Millersville your response may have been along the lines of “Amish Country” or “Farms as far as the eye can see.” While this is a classic generalization of our diverse county, it’s not incorrect either.

According to Lancaster Farmland Trust, Lancaster County is home to over 5,000 farms, out of a total of 63,200 in Pennsylvania total. That is close to 10% of PA’s farmland population. What it is that sets these farmlands apart from others in the country, and even the world, is that Lancaster farmers use a non-irrigated system for their soil, which means that they do not use an artificial watering system to make their crops grow. Lancaster’s farms provide over 50,000 people with jobs and contribute to more than $4 billion to the local economy. The best way to experience what these farmers are providing is at Root’s Country Market and Auction.

Root’s offers any foods or goods you could possibly need.
Root’s offers any foods or goods you could possibly need.

Located in Manheim, just a few short minutes away from Park City Mall, Root’s (pronounced “Rutz”) offers some of the best local produce in the county. The market boasts over 200 stand holders, so there’s no limit to the possibilities of fresh vegetables and fruits that can be found here. However if you’re not in the mood for produce, Root’s still has plenty of other food options for you.

There’s Raub’s Subs that can cater to your submarine cravings; Norma’s Pizza, where you can meet Norma herself and get a slice of her delicious and gooey pizza, and Fertile Valley Farm’s Ice Cream, which is homemade with raw milk. Whatever food you could possibly be craving, Roots offers it. The best part of it all is it’s all fairly cheap, which is rather important to us college students. You could easily go to Root’s with twenty dollars in your pocket and have more than enough to get your groceries and produce for the week, and have money left over to spare.

Perhaps you’re not looking for food and are on the hunt for some knick-knacks for your room. Root’s also has an “Old Mill Flea Market” right across the street from their country market. Not only are there numerous vendors inside the building, but there’s also a wave of tables and stands next to the building offering inexpensive CDs and DVDs, jewelry, books, antiques; anything that you would normally find at a flea market (which is everything). The best part of Root’s is the environment. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of people here on a hot summer day, but you can easily make a friend with one of the vendors by bonding over whatever product they’re selling.

Get to Root’s while the produce is still fresh! Root’s Country Market and the Old Mill Flea Market are only open on Tuesdays, but they’re open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., so there’s plenty of time before, in between or after classes to make a Root’s trip.