This is Where I Live by Ellie Hollabaugh Vranich

This is where I live – just north of Gettysburg in the rolling hills and orchards of Upper Adams County. And for generations in my family, this has been home. At my family’s fruit and vegetable farm, I’ve started to write what I call a “Monday’s Musing” on our employee board each week. It’s a thought-provoking, funny, or sometimes controversial quote that’s meant to inspire conversation, laughter, and sometimes, heated debate amongst our employees. This week’s quote came from Julia Child:

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”

Child’s quote is especially fitting for our family and employees, because we all LOVE to eat. We start talking about what’s for lunch at breakfast, and about what’s for dinner at lunch. But even more than the next meal, these conversations are never-ending because we’re blessed to be surrounded by God’s bounty each and every day.

Have you ever eaten a handful of blueberries so fresh that they’re still warm from the sun? Or smelled tree-ripened peaches just after they’ve been picked, with an aroma so sweet that you can almost taste the sugar before you bite into one? Or walked into a cold storage filled from floor to ceiling with apples, their smell permeating the air so intensely that it’s nearly impossible to resist eating one?

These are the everyday happenings in the place I’m so lucky to call home. There are more acres of fruit trees here in this corner of the South Mountain landscape than anywhere else in Pennsylvania. The rolling hills provide us with fertile soils and protect us from dangerous storms. Generations of family members, my own four-generation farm family included, work hard day in and day out to provide for their families. We care for our trees and their fruits, nurturing them to provide us with the best crop possible. We respect the extreme power of Mother Nature, accepting that all it takes is one storm to destroy that which we worked so hard to grow.

I don’t know if Julia Child’s sentiment can be proven true or not. But what I do know is that, when the peach juice is dripping off my chin, I’ll never trade this life or this home for anywhere else. This is where I live. Home.


Ellie Hollabaugh Vranich
Third Generation Family Member, Hollabaugh Bros., Inc.
Biglerville, PA