Article Number One

I want to welcome all my Amish/Mennonite fiction fans to the THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY link. By reading these few little articles, you hopefully will enter the world of the kapped folk and see what it’s like to live as if in “days of yesteryear.” This link is a sample of what you’ll read on THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY page at either of my two blogs: or, where we’ll visit with Old Order Amish all the way to progressive Mennonites and share details of these folks in their every day lives. I post something new on THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY page at both blogs every Tuesday.

I’m fortunate to live in Snyder County, central PA, where many Amish and Mennonites live. Every Tuesday just five minutes from my house, quite a few of those folks gather at Keister’s Farm Market and Auction both to buy and to sell. If you’ve read TO JOHN WITH LOVE, the second book in my LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY, then you’ve already vicariously visited a farmers’ market, which I describe in detail in the book. Well, guess where I got all that information. Of course! From the real-live market that I frequent every week. Here’s the actual scene from chapter fifteen in the book, TO JOHN WITH LOVE:

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Every Tuesday, Bowser’s Auction and Market on route 35 outside of Mapletown was the place to be!

On the large open field next to the massive red barn complex, rows of vendors, Amish, Mennonite, and English, had set up their stands and were selling their wares by eight a.m. Mounds of fresh, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, and cabbage, and baskets of fresh fruit, some shipped in from the south, some local, covered tabletops. Dozens of other tables, under canopies, displayed baseball cards, stuffed animals, old sleds, dolls, antique lamps, used clothing, carpenters’ tools, welcome flags, and a menagerie of “treasures” that wooed bargain hunters from near and far. Behind the stands were rows of trucks, vans, and Amish buggies, resting from their earlier arrival and hasty unloading.

As Katrina neatly arranged her baked goods on a wooden table, she took in a deep breath, her senses filling with a hint of grilling hot dogs and bubbling French fries. A gentle breeze sifted through the grounds, and a strong waft of horse manure invaded Katrina’s nose, the fumes trying their best to overpower the pleasant aromas of frying foods and her own baked goods.

I truly do love to come here. Katrina surveyed the passing crowd, snaking in and out among the tables. There are so many wunderbaar things to see and so many friends to meet. I’ll sorely miss this place. She stationed herself at the stand, waiting for the passersby to check out her wares. Sitting on a stool, she studied the scene before her, one that always made her heart pump a little fast.

Eager vendors were already making their pitch to a steady flow of shoppers. Other marketers lounged in the shade of their beach umbrellas, preparing for another hot August day. Hands folded on their round bellies, they scrutinized every person who came near their stand.

Katrina examined a steady stream of English folks who milled about the tables, including her own, like ants after sugar cubes. Some toted large empty bags, their eager faces betraying their desire to buy something, anything. Sunburned farmers in baseball caps mingled with plump women in tank tops and shorts. Wide-eyed kinner stared and, when mamms turned their backs, touched every toy they could reach.

As usual, the market had drawn a large gathering of local Amish. Bearded men in straw hats, white or blue shirts, and black trousers with suspenders exchanged the latest news in their Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. The women, in white kapps, granny glasses, royal blue dresses with black aprons and work boots, also chatted in their own little circles. The kinner, carbon copies of their parents, stood close to the adults and eyed the tables with wonder.”

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So there you have a taste of what a farmers’ market in “kapped country” is like. If you are living in a part of the world that has no Amish or Mennonite folk, I trust that you’ve enjoyed your little trip “to market” here in Snyder County.

Please sign up for my blog posts at  or at the THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY page to read more about the “Plain Folk” in central PA. I have blogs about these interesting folks, including pictures of an Amish Farm Tourist Attraction in Lancaster, PA, more pictures of my Snyder County market, and just interesting stories about some of my Mennonite friends and their simple lifestyle, which includes a LOT of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.