Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eeenie Meenie Miney Mo…To Which Market Will I Go?

Farmers’ Markets have sprung up all over my local area and I have to say, I’m in heaven! There is nothing better than fresh, local food from area farmers you get to know. All three I frequent seem to have a very similar theme whereas they have a musician playing music, some sort of demo taking place and of course the food.

The first market I started frequenting was the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown. This one takes place on Sunday mornings and has grown tremendously. They started out at a local bank where the parking lot was broken up by the bank in the center. It was disconcerting for shoppers and vendors I’m sure found it difficult. They have moved to a park on Water Street where the vendors are all in two long rows across from one another. It has survived the move to have a packed parking lot each week.

This market is friendly and offers a great place for those with dogs to take them for a Sunday morning walk as long as you follow rules. The honey vendor is a great stop. Right now they are carrying Trauger’s corn and with the honeybee situation, he’s a lucky guy to still have hives producing.

The next is the one in my own community, the Springtown Farmers’ Market held each Wednesday at the Springtown Fire Company parking lot. It is perfect to have a mid-week market, so I don’t purchase too much that I waste the fresh stuff I bought on Sunday. This year’s market – its second - seems to have both grown and stabilized from its paltry few and inconsistent vendors and parking is so much easier.

Vendors here at Springtown’s market include some making take away food, bakeries, handmade soaps, fresh produce and cheese with some free range eggs, chicken and beef farmers. Highly recommended is Tabora Farms with their great take away yummies!

A new market this year in my area is the Linden Hill Farmers’ Market held at a local landscape designer’s property each Friday afternoon. The landscaper purchased a property on Route 611 just south of Route 412 in Ottsville and has transformed a rundown, ramshackle old farm into what is now a charming stretch of property where gardens abound.

This is an amazing market both in what they sell and their prices. Not for the faint of heart or pocketbook, that’s for sure. Top notch all the way and had I not been so desperate for the taste of summer tomatoes, I’d have never spent five dollars a pound the other day for just over 16 ounces of beautiful heirlooms. I justify it by recalling my past job of working on an organic farm. I know its hard, back breaking work and for those folks working fields instead of greenhouses, it’s all dependent upon Mother Nature. Yeah, five dollars is a lot, but not when you think about how labor intensive it is.

Many vendors here come from the central Bucks County area and some have some very interesting items, such as the dried vegetable chips. Green and red pepper chips that come in sweet and hot are a great buy to have with some dip at a gathering. Peaches from several farms including Solebury Orchards were being sold this past Friday with samples from each variety and farm given out.

Here is a listing of the three markets above and hope you’ll find yourself a frequenting them all over the rest of the harvest season!




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