Garden Views

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Gardens say, "Slow down, Look around you, Believe, Hope… "
-Zoraida Rivera Morales

Farmers Markets in the Susquehanna River Valley

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Bridge Avenue Berries 

62 Bridge Ave., Allenwood, PA 17810
Facebook: Bridge Avenue Berries

Blueberries on this pick-your-own, six-acre blueberry patch are organically-fertilized and only botanical sprays are used. **Open July through early August, weather permitting. See their website or Facebook for more details. Bridge Avenue Berries farm stand will open in early July with blueberries picked and ready to buy or ripe on the bush for “pick-your-own”.


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Mapes Farm Fresh, LLC.

8180 State Route 304
Mifflinburg, PA 17844

As a small family dairy farm, Mapes strives to provide and produce the healthiest, most local, farm fresh foods to you and your family. Stop by their new on-farm store to see right where your milk comes from all while enjoying the beautiful view. Along with Mapes' very own milk, cheese and yogurt you will be able to purchase local farm fresh products such as beef, chicken, pork, fruits and vegetables.

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Dries Orchards Inc. 

506 Mountain Rd., Paxinos, PA 17860
Facebook: Dries Orchards

Sixty-five-year-old family-owned and -operated orchard growing apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, sweet and sour cherries, grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Also features pick-your-own apples and grapes, and homemade apple cider is made daily. **Farm store open Mon. thru Sat. 9-5. Also, at the Lewisburg Farmer's Market.

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Ard's Farm Market, Restaurant & Catering    

4803 Old Turnpike Rd., Lewisburg, PA 17837
Facebook: Ard’s Farm Market

Ard's Farm has been a family-owned and -operated business for over 25 years. They began as a Farm Market. Since then, it has evolved, with the help of the next generation Ard's family, to include full-service catering, a farm-to-table restaurant and a Fall season with their newly designed corn maze and hayrides to their pumpkin patch. **Outdoor Dining Now Available. Open for grocery sales, wine sales and restaurant takeout as well as grocery delivery.

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Lewisburg Farmers Market

600 Fairground Rd.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Facebook: Lewisburg Farmers Market
The Lewisburg Farmers Market is open every Wednesday from 8-5, and Saturdays from 9-1,  and is a popular and long standing market in Central Pennsylvania. Find locally sourced fresh vegetables and flowers at stands throughout the market plus shop for deli items, and more.

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Susquehanna Valley Growers Market

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Susquehanna Valley Growers Market
Reitz Blvd.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Facebook: Susquehanna Valley Growers Market
This group of local farmers is committed to sustainably raising, growing and producing products for the conscientious consumer. Using organic practices, they offer naturally raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef. Other products include flowers, baked goods, meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables and coffee, to name a few. The market is open Fridays from 2-5pm. Check web site and Facebook for updates and a recipe index.

Mount Carmel Farmers Mkt
Mount Carmel Farmers Market

11190 State Route 61, Mount Carmel, PA 17851
Facebook: Mount Carmel Farmers Market
The Mount Carmel Farmers Market has a vision to renew an age-old tradition and support the local economy while strengthening the community. Over 50 vendors offer beautiful produce, meat/deli, breakfast and lunch platters, baked goods (including sticky buns baked at the market), homemade Amish pretzels, crafts, distillery, popcorn, canned items and a flea market. Open Saturdays from 8am-2pm. Outdoor food vendors and Sunrise Meats and Ridgeview Deli open inside for takeout.


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Dewart Country Store

2189 Main St., Dewart, PA 17730
Facebook: Dewart Country Story

Dewart Country Store is a small-town store featuring garden-fresh local produce in season, homemade baked goods and ice cream plus a variety of bulk foods, and snacks. They serve pizza, soup, smoothies, hoagies, cheese steaks and salads. Takeouts and outdoor seating are available.

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Ponduce Farms

270 White Church Rd.
Elysburg, PA 17824

Ponduce Farms is a family-owned and -operated tree farm and wreath manufacturer, restaurant, banquet hall and farm market located in Central PA in the Roaring Creek Valley. Special features include Fall Festivals.

Gardens of the Susquehanna River Valley

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Mifflinburg Garden Tour
The Mifflinburg Garden Tour includes 6 great home gardens starting at 1pm and 2 business gardens along with the other great downtown businesses that will open at 12 noon so you will have plenty of time to browse and enjoy yourselves. Enjoy local artists and musicians at the different locations. Maps will be available at the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum visitor center and at the gardens. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or in person at Dr. Dave Holman's, The Tack Room and at the visitor center. Ticket may also be purchased the day of the tour. Rain or shine!
Mifflinburg Garden Tour Information

Keithan's Bluebird Gardens

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In the 1920's, Sunbury resident Charles Keithan started a hobby garden that grew, unexpectedly, into a beloved part of the community landscape.

Located on a 1.5 acre tract along Sunbury's riverside, the park still contains some of the exotic trees that Keithan imported from around the world, as well as representative species of two of his favorite plants - azaleas and rhododendrons. 

Like a hardy perennial, the garden has bounced back a few times. All but destroyed by a 1930's flood, the park was rebuilt by Keithan. After his death in the 1980's, volunteers maintained Keithan's Bluebird Gardens until around five years ago, when the city took over and hired The Murrays as Rejeuvenators & Protectors. 

For more information, visit the City of Sunbury's website. For information regarding weddings and other special events, call (570) 286-7820.

Mariah Quant Memorial Garden

Enjoy a lovely view of the Susquehanna River from Mariah’s Garden. This peaceful garden is filled with plants that are all native to Pennsylvania and bloom throughout the year, creating a living memorial to Mariah Quant, a Lewisburg student who died in a car accident just hours before she was to receive her high school diploma in 2000. The garden is located on South Front Street and Walnut Alley, overlooking the river. Learn more about native plants from Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Saving a National Treasure

R. B. Winter State Park Butterfly Garden

Butterfly and Bird Gardens
At the park office and the Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center, several flower and herb gardens attract wildlife. Native plants and garden flowers draw butterflies such as: Swallowtails, Satyrs, Fritillaries, Painted ladies, Admirals, Tortoiseshells and Monarchs. Hummingbird moths and silver spotted skippers also frequent the gardens. Birds feeding on seeds, insects, or nectar include: Goldfinches, Chipping sparrows, Juncos and Ruby-throated hummingbirds. 
For more specific information about these model backyard habitat areas, a free handout is available at the park office or the learning center. R. B. Winter State Park

Shikellamy State Park

A lovely butterfly garden is located near the park office at the Shikellamy State Park Marina. This is a restful spot to enjoy a summer day after taking a walk around the marina park. Shikellamy State Park

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Garden Centers in the Susquehanna River Valley

Engle's Farm and Greenhouse
171 Greenhouse Rd.
Middleburg, PA 17842
Facebook: Engle's Farm and GreenHouse

Engle's Farm and Greenhouse is known far and wide as having the biggest variety of plants in the state. Situated on 18 acres and over 70,000 square feet of greenhouses you will find the largest selections of annuals, perennials, vegetables, fruits, trees and shrubs in the area. Engle's boasts a large selection of 1000s of hanging baskets, plus all the supplies that a do-it-yourselfer would want. They carry a full line of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, trees and shrubs. They also have lawn and garden supplies, including vegetable and flower seeds, along with tools, pots/planters, fertilizer, soil, mulch and much more. Visit Engle's in the fall for mums and pumpkins, or in the winter for poinsettias, trees and wreaths, as well.

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Graci’s Flowers and Gifts
901 Market St.
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
Facebook: Graci’s Flowers
Graci’s Flower Shop in Selinsgrove is also a good resource for plants. For more than 45 years, Graci's has been a family-owned and -operated florist and gift retailer. Graci's is three stores in one - a full-service florist; a gift shop with something to delight everyone whatever the reason or season and a year-round Christmas shop filled with everything to make the holidays magical. Located in beautiful downtown Selinsgrove, Graci’s provides flowers, gifts, collectables, candles and so much more.
Graci's is now back to regular hours- Mon-Thurs & Sat 8:30-5:00 and Fri. 8:30- 7:00, closed Sunday.


Gardening in the Susquehanna River Valley

People garden for many different reasons. Some want fresh aromatic herbs to spice up their cooking or they may like the enhanced flavors of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. There are also wonderful health benefits from eating homegrown produce as well as cost savings in the grocery budget. Others love the beauty of a flower garden full of colorful blooms plus the birds, bees and butterflies that come to visit. Some families enjoy the companionship of gardening together. This is especially fulfilling when you can share your knowledge and skills while passing on the love of gardening to your children. A final reason might just be the pure satisfaction and joy of the whole gardening process.  Designing a garden, digging in the dirt, sowing seeds, planting, watering and weeding all bring a sense of wonder, accomplishment and pride especially when you are rewarded with gorgeous flowers throughout the season and a bountiful harvest of homegrown veggies. The internet is a great source for beginner and veteran gardeners alike. Follow these links for gardening tips and gardening activities for children.

Gardening with Kids

Do Try This at Home: Planning the Eternal Garden (from PA Happy Thoughts newsletter)

Ten Steps to a Successful Garden

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Vegetable Garden

A Beginner’s Guide to Container Gardening

Busting the Myths of Composting

Garden Activities for Kids

You can also find a wealth of knowledge at your local garden shops and farmers markets. The Susquehanna River Valley is home to numerous farmers markets where you can find vegetable and flowering plants.

If you don't have a garden, farm markets throughout the Valley offer the sweetest berries,  juiciest tomatoes, gorgeous greens and all the freshest produce you crave each season.


Gardening Book Reviews from the Otto Bookstore



Otto Bookstore Reviews Books about Gardening and Beekeeping 

There are many reasons to garden. Here are a few...

Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. -Robert Breault

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. – Allan Armitage

In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy. -Robert Breault

We encourage you to share your passion with a new generation or discover it for yourself. 🌱 Otto Bookstore has books aplenty to guide you. 📚


Nature writing at its best: A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings- A Year of Keeping Bees

An inspiring, up-close portrait of tending to a honeybee hive—a year of living dangerously—watching and capturing the wondrous, complex universe of honeybees and learning an altogether different way of being in the world.

“As strange, beautiful, and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings as bees in a hive. I loved it.”–Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings begins as the author is entering her thirties and feeling disconnected in her life. Uneasy about her future and struggling to settle into her new house in Oxford with its own small garden, she is brought back to a time of accompanying a friend in London—a beekeeper—on his hive visits. And as a gesture of good fortune for her new life, she is given a colony of honeybees. According to folklore, a colony, freely given, brings good luck, and Helen Jules embarks on a rewarding, perilous journey of becoming a beekeeper.

Jukes writes about what it means to “keep” wild creatures; on how to live alongside beings whose laws and logic are so different from our own . . . She delves into the history of beekeeping and writes about discovering the ancient, haunting, sometimes disturbing relationship between keeper and bee, human and wild thing.

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings is a book of observation, of the irrepressible wildness of these fascinating creatures, of the ways they seem to evade our categories each time we attempt to define them. Are they wild or domestic? Individual or collective? Is honey an animal product or is it plant-based? As the author’s colony grows, the questions that have, at first compelled her interest to fade away, and the inbetweenness, the unsettledness of honeybees call for a different kind of questioning, of consideration.

A subtle yet urgent mediation on uncertainty and hope, on solitude and friendship, on feelings of restlessness and on home; on how we might better know ourselves. A book that shows us how to be alert to the large and small creatures that flit between and among us and that urge us to learn from this vital force so necessary to be continuation of life on planet Earth.


Otto Bookstore

107 W. Fourth St.
Williamsport, PA 17701
Otto's is America's Oldest Independent Bookstore, established in 1841. They offer personalized service and free gift wrapping, along with a new books sale section and a large children's section.