Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: July 13th, 2011
Westgate Farms Fruit Market: Sweet and sour cherries for sale

Westgate Farms Fruit Market in North East, Pa.

Dark, sweet cherries for sale. I’ll take two, please. On our way to check out the North East Firemen’s Cherry Festival where there isn’t a cherry to be seen much less eaten–(it’s pretty much a carnival with a midway, rides, games of chance and quick eats)–we stopped on Rte. 5 in North East, obeying the sign outside Westgate Farms Fruit Market (15 miles east of Erie) announcing “dark cherries.” And even though the season has been rough on their crop, as it has on all the other cherry growers in the county, there were quarts and pints available and in abundance. I snapped up two quarts of sweet ($5.95 a piece) and promptly ate some, feeling my body getting younger and more robust with each bite. You can also pick your own as long as they last.  (See the ad in the Erie Times-News.) For more information about local farm stands and pick-your-own farms, check out the Erie County Horicultural Society website.

As we chatted about what else the market offered (melons, raspberries, blueberries and corn), I was thrilled to find out from the owner’s son that the ears of corn he was pulling out of the large sack were theirs. Yes, it’s official. More local corn is appearing at the farm stands which means we are coming into season. The ears have a lovely, whitish hue and wee kernels. And yes, I am not embarrassed to say, I do eat them right off the cob, uncooked. The corn is that tender, that sweet and that irresistible. (My niece is somewhat freaked out by this, but I snuck several ears of raw kernels in a Southwestern cold bean salad I made the other day, and she never knew the difference. I guess now she will.)

Tomorrow, I take a look at Little Bit of Heaven Farm; a place that offers a bird’s eye view of life on a working farm.

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