Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Root's Country Market & Auction, Manheim, Pennsylvania

As part of this last trip we spent Tuesday at Root's Country Market and Auction in the town of Manheim, Pennsylvania. Root's is a farmers and vendors market that spreads over a large piece of land just off Route 72 between East Petersburg and Manheim, PA. I have written about Root's before but I want to give it an article all to itself and include this in places to visit when in Pennsylvania. I have written about another similar market in Pennsylvania called Green Dragon. Roots is smaller but offers a similar experience.

I don't have photographs to show you of Root's. Going around the market taking pictures would make me too much of a tourist there. There is a nice website and there are plenty of photos there.

Root's is only open on Tuesdays. The hours are from 9am to 9 pm in April through October, and from 9 am to 6 pm in November through March. The grounds do host some special events during the year but while these may include craft shows or flea markets, the regular market is not open.

Root's is out of the usual tourist areas of Lancaster and those at Root's tend to be local. Root's has been serving this community for85 years. If you want to interact with the Amish and the Mennonites you will find them as stand holders selling produce and baked goods made in their kitchens and you will find them shopping. In the back of one of the parking lots there are horse stalls to park a buggy and tie up the horse.

The market is made up of a large building with an L extension and a T extension that houses most of the market vendors. There are two other buildings on the property with vendors and one of those has antiques on a second floor (the building in the back that looks like you are walking into a barn). There is also a building with animal stalls that is an animal auction. If you want to buy chickens, ducks, rabbits, or goats (and sometimes larger animals) this is the place to come and bid and take home some livestock - though I would not suggest doing this in your Roadtrek.

Scattered through all of this there are outdoor vendors selling everything from farm fresh produce to cell phone covers. There is a little of everything for sale at Root's including furniture. Around the back there are flea market vendors that come in and set up in an open lot. Across the road from Root's is another related property with two buildings selling antiques and an outdoor flea market area for vendors. The flea market vendors in this area come early and are packing up to leave by 1 pm. By 2 pm they are almost all gone. (I never really understand why but this is how it has always been at this part across from Root's.)

Parking for Root's is in surrounding fields around the market and none are paved. There are some gravel roads but most are dirt and the spaces that you are parking in are grass or dirt. This is - so far - only proven to be a problem for the Roadtrek once when it has rained the day before and I was hesitant about getting the Roadtrek stuck in the mud. On that trip we went across the road to a business parking lot that was closed and parked there. On this trip we parked in a spot in the main parking area that was up against woods and we could pull up enough so that the rear of the Roadtrek was not hanging out into the lane behind. There was another Class B parked in the row behind us and when we returned at the end of the day, there was a Class C parked next to us.  If you come here with a Class A you are going to have to be creative and polite in finding a place to park, but I am sure it can be done.

The auction part of Root's is the animal sales auction as I described and also an auction of household items, new and sold in bulk, at auction. This is in the back of the building with the antiques on the second floor.

Not only are there fun thing to look at and buy at Root's but there are a lot of tempting food stands. We tend to eat at Raub's Subs which sells hoagies, subs, grinders, hero sandwiches or whatever big sandwiches on a long roll are called in your part of the country. There are tables out behind the main building to eat at. There is a stand selling fried seafood sandwiches that always has a crowd. The biggest crowd this day that we were there was the Pit Beef stand which had a line that people said was an hour long. The sandwiches looked good and the people working the stand continually coming around the back to the smoker to get more meat and also refill it for cooking. This stand also sold smoked pork, as does another stand nearby (without the same long line - so this place must be real good!) If the weather is not great, take your lunch back to the Roadtrek. When I went to get our sandwiches, Meryl went to the Roadtrek to get cold cans of soda from our fridge.

If you care for dessert or a snack there are several bakeries selling freshly made backed goods, some Amish ladies selling home baked goods outside, and a stand outside selling nice large soft pretzels. All of this is to take with you or eat right there on the spot if you cannot resist and can't wait to have a taste.

There are also stands inside with refrigerator cases selling meats and cold cuts to take home. The meats here (and in Green Dragon) always look so much better than the meat in the supermarkets. Produce stands are selling fresh vegetables and fruits. There are even stands selling plants to bring home to your garden.

This type of market may be common in some parts of the country but there is nothing like it where I live in New York so it is a novelty for us to go to these markets. You may be saying, "Oh that is just like the XY Market around here - what is the big deal?" For some of us, this is unique.

To get to Root's take Route 72. If you are coming from Lancaster it will seem like you are driving a long time but you are really not. You will drive through towns and fields. There is a golf course next to Root's and Root's Nursery which is not the same place (though likely related). For your GPS the address is 705 Graystone Road, Manheim, PA 17545 and you can call them at Phone: (717) 898-7811.There should be no concern for height clearances coming from the south on 72. I do not recall any from the north but I cannot confirm that.

While writing this article I discovered that Root's has a Facebook page so "LIKE" Root's on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Wow,love this, I have bookmarked it for a visit when we hit PA. Thanks