Monday, May 31, 2010


To our great delight, Susanne and I were invited for dinner at the farm of Gwen and David, friends from Market Square Church choir. They live in Harrisburg but have a delightful small farm near the Lancaster-Lebanon exit of the turnpike, not far from Manheim.

We set out in the Box, armed with EZ Pass, and headed east on the turnpike. It was a beautiful day, and the sun was just beginning to fall out of the sky. We soon crossed from Dauphin County into Lebanon County, and then into the extreme northern section of Lancaster County, about 5 miles south of Cornwall. It was just a short drive down Rt. 72 until we came to the country lane where the farm is located.

We pulled into the drive, passing the massive barn, and parking next to the corn crib. Ahead lay gardens filled with flowers, vegetables, and blueberry bushes. The house is a perfect country place, all white, graceful in scale, but simple in design and detail. Just beside it is a storage shed and a porch roof covering a small flagstone terrace.

At nearly the same moment, the other guests, Lee and Lois, also of the choir, arrived. We entered the house at the kitchen door, and inside found, like the exterior, a simple charm, warmed by pretty French wallpaper. Gwen and David, our gracious hosts, visit France every view years, and the French country style is apparently their favorite.

We enjoyed a glass of wine as we toured the barn and gardens, including a huge bed of daylilies (former owners cultivated them for sale), iris, poppies, and cornflowers. Vegetables included tomatoes, peas, and lettuce. Everything was so neatly cared for!

Next we settled at a table placed on the foundation of an old chicken coop now covered with a pergola supporting wisteria vines. Gwen had made guacamole dip and also served crackers and a might tasty cheese. Remind me to ask what it was. We enjoyed conversation and hors d'Ĺ“uvre as Gwen completed preparations for the meal of chicken, asparagus, rice with spinach, and carrots. Colorful and tasty indeed. This was all topped off by a wonderful fruit tart that Lois and Lee had brought. Dinner was lighted by kerosene lamps hung on the pergola.
By the time we were finished enjoying the meal and the lively conversation, it was dark and time to skeedaddle on home. We marveled at the number of stars you can see out in the country, climbed into the Box, and, directed onto the dark road by our hosts, made our way back Linglestown.

And now to share some of the visual delights of our farm visit!

Climbing roses greet visitors to the farm.

The house as seen from the gardens.

Flower gardens near the house.

Pink peonies grace the farmhouse table.

The simple 1920s exterior includes 
a course of sawtooth siding.

Gwen and Susanne discuss country living.

A gorgeous blue iris shines in the sun.
Gwen shows Lois the iris bed.

Poppies and cornflowers, a perfect combination.

Lee captures the beauty with his camera.

Foxglove or digitalis abound on the farm.

The dinner bells sounds its call to eat.

We headed to the outdoor dining room.

A salad of greens and beets just a 
few hours out of the earth.

Chicken, rice with spinach,
asparagus, and carrots.

The colorful and delicious fruit tart.

As evening fell, oil lamps gave off
their warm glow.
Farewell to a most pleasant evening!

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