I am constantly on a quest for the "perfect" farm around here. Really, the best qualification would be within walking distance. But, since there are no farms in Squirrel Hill (and there are other benefits to city living) the quest to locate a reliable off-market day source of produce has me on lots of long drives. I have checked out many of our local farms that have markets: Trax, Soergels, Shenot's, McConnell's, Triple B, Paskorz, Simmons and Reilly's Summer Seat (the last two were last year for fall outings with the kiddos). Some people shop for clothes. Or antiques. I shop for broccoli. Hmmm. Anyway, they all have their plusses, but none is exactly perfect. Sigh. So, the quest continues.
Today it took me to Schramm's Farm Market in Harrison City (but the address is Jeanette) http://www.schrammfarms.com/home.php. I was sort of previewing for my kids' fall apple and pumpkin picking experience. The activities for the kids were pretty low key. A small hay bale maze, a small pumpkin patch accessed by a winding path decorated with scarecrows, and a structure (was it a tractor?) made of wood that all the kids present were climbing and thoroughly enjoying.
The farm market presented quite a bit of home grown produce at good prices. They also sold bulk quantities. Right now they had green peppers and every other hot pepper under the sun. They also had salad and roma tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, many varieties of squash and probably some other vegetables that I am forgetting. They also had at least six varieties of apples and bartlett and bosc pears (and maybe another kind, too). Of course they also carried lots of other things from away but labelled all as such and many had their state of origin labelled.
In addition to produce, the store also contained a bake shop ("Grandma's") which made the whole store smell heavenly. They also carried local beef in a freezer. Next to that was ice cream from Kerber's Dairy which "Rose" carries also on Braddock Avenue across from Frick Park. Some other items that caught my eye were their apple cider (liquid gold), local honey, local maple syrup and some bake mixes from Burnt Cabins Gristmill (with a PA preferred sticker firmly affixed) http://www.historicmillandcamping.com/index.asp?id=12.
No, it's not the perfect farm. I can't really tell you why. Maybe it had to do with the McMansions I saw on the way there. Not their fault, I'm sure. Also, I think my kids would prefer a bit more to keep them entertained (much as I hate to admit it) like a hayride or cornmaze. The quest continues.