When most people think of Gettysburg, they think of the Civil War, and in turn, the monuments that memorialize those who fought and died there. But there’s so much more to this small town than soldiers and Civil War campaigns—especially if you like craft beverages or culinary delights
It’s not surprising that there are so many opportunities to have a real farm-to-table experience; after all, Adams County, where Gettysburg is located, is agricultural nirvana; for example, 70 percent of the apples that are grown in Pennsylvania are grown in the county, which is also the fourth largest apple producer in the country.
And these apples, as well as many other locally grown fruits, vegetables and berries, are used to make a myriad of authentic local specialties that can be enjoyed in independently owned restaurants, or even better, on local farms and orchards.
At Thirsty Farmer Brew Works, for example, you can pair a handcrafted ale, lager or cider with light fare made from farm-fresh ingredients grown on-site. Located directly across the street from the Historic Round Barn, which was built in 1914 and serves as a farm market from May-October, the brew pub is an extension of the family-run business that is now in its fourth generation. At Hauser Estate Winery, you can enjoy a glass of wine on a balcony overlooking the 300-acre orchard, or sample some of the many flavors of Jack’s Hard Cider, which is produced on the premises as well. According to their head cider and wine maker, fresh fruit is the secret to the brand’s success—all of their five flagship ciders start with apples, with other fruits and ingredients added to create unique flavors
Three Springs Fruit Farm was established in 1901 and its 250 acres of apples are not only sold at farmers’ markets in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and more, but are used to create Ploughman’s Cider, which uses seven blends of apples in its products. You can also stop at Adams County Winery for a local favorite—since 1988, this fifth oldest winery in Pennsylvania has been bottling the very popular Tears of Gettysburg, in addition to wines named after their dog, Rusty, and seasonal favorites that sell out within days.
Farm to Fork
If you want to know where the food you eat comes from, there’s no better place to get a firsthand look than on the Farm to Fork Agritourism Experience, hosted by Savor Gettysburg. It’s a really unique experience to actually meet the people making your food, and to see how their farms are run.
Tasting different varieties of apples right from the orchard, and picking your own herbs to be used in a multi-course, chef-created dinner are just a couple of the highlights of this full-day excursion; and did I mention that you get to pet goats? A big plus is that in many of the places, you also have the opportunity to purchase some of the same food that you sampled on-site so you can enjoy it again once you’re back home.
I’d also recommend sitting down for a meal at Hickory Bridge Farm, where the portions are huge, and you can sample every comfort-food delight you can imagine from spiced peaches with cloves, to salad with warm bacon dressing, to ham with pineapple stuffing, apple fritters, crab imperial, fried chicken and more. I guarantee that you won’t leave here hungry, but you might leave wishing you’d worn a little looser clothing.
One last stop before you leave town should be Hollabaugh Bros. market, a family-owned fruit and vegetable market set on 500 acres that has been run by the same family since 1955. Not only can you load up on local produce to take home to try in recipes in your own kitchen, but you can stock up on scratch-made goods from their on-site bakery which will make your drive home so much better.
What’s your favorite farm-to-table food? Tell us about it on Facebook.