Archive for category Hidden and not so Hidden Gems in Holmes County
I haven’t been to Blessing Acres for over a month. I decided to head down this morning with the hopes of getting some sweet corn for lunch. Unfortunately they didn’t have any sweet corn but they should be getting more next week. They do, however, have lots of other delicious vegetables. This is my favorite local roadside veggie stand. Enjoy the pictures.
How cute are these peppers. And so colorful.
Their eggplants are beautiful. They have both purple and white. I am dying to try eggplant parmesan but I need to find a good recipe because I have absolutely no idea how to prepare it. Anybody have a good recipe?
In the background you can see the rows of mums. Won’t be long till they are in full bloom. Along with the mums in the fall, they will also have gourds and other fall decorations. I’m looking forward to decorating for fall. How about you? Be sure to check out Blessing Acres while they still have lots of yummy fresh produce.
Is there a place that when you think about it or see it instantly takes you back to childhood? The Doughty, also known as Troyer’s Hollow, is that place for me.
As you travel along Twp. Rd. 154 just outside of Charm, OH, you would never notice the entrance to the Doughty. It looks like every other pasture gate that you pass. You have to know just where to look for it. There is no sign and no indication that the small gravel road will lead you down into a serene park-like natural wonder. As you turn onto the dirt road you will feel like you have made a wrong turn. Soon you will start to descend down down down and around the hillside. Don’t look out the right side of your vehicle, it’s a steep drop! At the bottom the trees will break away and the Doughty will be before you. I never get tired of that view. The gorge is deep and the hills and trees rise straight up on either side allowing the sun to shine for only a few hours every day in the hollow.
A little history on the area. The Doughty is part of a 2-mile long gorge that was formed by the glaciers that came through Holmes County. The Doughty Creek runs through this gorge. There is a very interesting and lengthy history to the area in which you can read part of here and here. But I’m going to share with you from my memories and from what I’ve been told by my family.
I know that there was a grist mill in the Doughty at one time. It was a thriving area with houses and businesses. From what I’ve been told by my family, my grandma was born in the hollow but only lived there a short time before her family moved.
Fast forward to when I was a child of about 5 or 6. At this time my great-uncle Orie Oswald, my grandma’s brother, owned the Doughty. I remember having family reunions and church picnics there. I remember playing in the creek and catching crawdads. When my cousin Leah would babysit me, she would take me down into The Doughty on horseback. I remember one specific time where she had the horse jump over a log that was in the horses path. I’ve never been much of a horse person so that was a little scary for me. There was also a swinging bridge that hung over the creek. I loved that bridge. Sadly, it was washed out by one of the floods that gushed through the area. The poles and cement that held the bridge still stand. Another memory is of family hiking trips up through the woods on the trails to the caves and, if we were lucky, the waterfalls that flowed after a good rain. Years ago we had a really bad ice storm hit Ohio. It destroyed the trails and the road down into The Doughty. Though the road has been repaired the trails have not. I’ve been told by the caretaker that the trails are passable by adults but a little treacherous for kids. Makes me sad, because I know Cade would love an adventure on those trails.
When my great-uncle Orie sold the land, the Guggisburg family bought it. Yes, the same Guggisburg family that is famous for their baby swiss cheese. They have hired someone to take care of the property and be the go-to person when wanting to rent the facilities. From spring thru fall the pavilions are rented almost every weekend. Many groups like to camp there and Amish have church services there on Sundays. There are 2 pavilions. One on the west side of the creek which is to the left as soon as you enter The Doughty. And the other facility is on the east side of the creek which means you have to go through the creek to get there. That is always a fun thing for the kids. There is a very nice bathroom shower facility for the back (east) pavilion. However the front (west) pavilion has port-a -pots. Both pavilions have kitchen facilities with a water pump outside.
In the above picture you can see the back pavilion and the bathroom facilities are up on the left. In the foreground is the place where cars pass through to get to the other side. This is a popular spot for the kids to play and adults to sit close by and put their feet in the water. Also in this picture you can see part of the structure that held the swinging bridge.
We still have our church picnics here. I’ve had 2 of Cade’s birthday parties here. During the summer when it’s hot and we don’t want to go to the pool, sometimes we will head to The Doughty to play in the water. Much less crowded and it’s free.
It is so peaceful and beautiful. While I’m down there I like to sit and imagine what it was like when there were houses and businesses there. Where did the houses sit? What did the people do who lived there? Was it a bustling hub of activity? The days gone by fascinate me especially when they mingle with my families history.
Blessing Acres Opening Soon!!!
I went for a drive today to see if one of my favorite local road side stands was open yet. Sadly it was not, BUT……there was a sign on the front stating that they would be open on Friday! I am overjoyed.
Several years ago my aunt introduced me to this wonderful market. It is literally a little shack that hold lots of fresh goodness. The Amish family who runs it bring in fresh fruits and veggies out of their fields daily. Whatever is in season is what you will find there. Some of the other things they sell are herbs, canned goods(that they can themselves right behind the shack), potted flowers, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods and eggs. I started ordering my corn from them since I can’t seem to grow it in my garden. They have several varieties that are all delicious.
Even though I have my own garden, I love to frequent Blessing Acres once a week or so just to see what they have that I might need in addition to my own stock.
It is definitely off the beaten path. Not something you would find just by driving around on the main roads of Holmes County. I think that is why I love it. Plus, the family is super nice and you pay on the honor system. Yep, they just have a bucket that you put your money in. They even have pen and paper so that you can add up all your goodies. How many places can you still do that? Not very many.
There are several signs pointing you in the right direction. Can you see the little hooks on the bottom of the sign below? As fruits and veggies come into season a sign with the name of the food gets added to this sign until it almost reaches the ground.
I have to apologize for the next picture. I took it through my car window. I should have got out but there were people working in the field across the road and I figured they would wonder why this crazy person was taking a picture of the empty building. So this will have to do for now. I will be sure to update you with pictures as more produce is brought in to sell. I wanted you to be able to see the before and after. Because it really does look like a little abandoned shack. But just you wait, you won’t be disappointed. The shack and surrounding area will come alive with fresh produce and beautiful flowers.
I think I may have to go down on Friday just to see what they have on their first day open. If you are in need of a great place to buy fresh produce at reasonable prices, I highly recommend Blessing Acres. And if you are visiting the area please be sure to stop in.
Blessing Acres is located about 2 miles North of the water tower in Berlin. But you can always ask around, most of the locals know where it is.
Until next time…
I decided to start a new series called “Hidden and not so Hidden Gems in Holmes County.”
I live right in the middle of Amish
Country. Rolling hillsides. Lush green pastures. Friendly locals.
Millions of people travel through our town every year. Many don’t
know about some of the little hidden gems in our area. I would like to introduce you to those places.
We also have many places that
are very popular travel destinations. I would like to reintroduce you to those and maybe give you some interesting facts you didn’t
know. Our local family owned businesses are what makes our area thrive.
Take a day trip or a long weekend and spend it in
Holmes County Ohio.