May 17, 2007 |
In a resounding endorsement of locally grown produce, the old "town square," and reasonable prices, farmers markets here and across the country continue to multiply, with at least 10 new seasonal markets opening in the Philadelphia region this year. In addition, Whole Foods, piggybacking on that popularity, will host weekly or monthly farmers markets chain- wide for the first time this spring, at six stores in this area as well as others across the country. These farmers markets will be set up under tents where space allows, and in front of stores or in parking lots on the smaller properties.
May 10, 2007 |
The first Saturday in May had farmers hauling out their vegetables, fruits and flowers for the first growers' market of the season in Chester County, in West Chester. But the West Chester Growers Market is just the first of seven local markets that have opened or will open over the next few weeks, selling fresh produce and baked goods. Details about each appear below. At West Chester Saturday, Peg Dearolf of Blueberry Hill Farm said her asparagus sold out within the first hour and a half.
September 7, 2006 |
Across the nation, obesity rates continue to climb, striking more than a quarter of the population in almost one quarter of the states, including Pennsylvania. But I think there is a way for residents here to combat fat: by frequenting their local farmers' markets. In my city, Lancaster, our 300-year-old Central Market is located in the heart of downtown, where the old King's Highway west from Philadelphia, now called King Street, meets the major north-south route, now called Queen Street.
June 28, 2006 |
We were out at 5:30 a.m. putting up handmade signs with directions. Our banner had been hung over the train station canopy. And we'd done as much local advertising as we could with our limited budget. It was the first day of the new farmers' market in downtown Swarthmore, and everyone was nervous. We had worked with Bob Pierson of Farm to City, the organization that helps communities set up farm markets, and had four of our five farmers ready to go on the last Saturday in May. But, we worried, what if we threw a party and nobody came?
June 4, 2006 |
At 3:15 a.m., the only light comes from a window in the barn. Chris Powell, with big shoulders, is loading the last of the vegetable and fruit boxes onto the truck. The market will open at six. No time to waste. This morning, he's got the first strawberries of the season. It's only the third Saturday in May, but his fields near Strasburg in Lancaster County are exploding with spinach, rhubarb, asparagus, sugar peas, radishes, lettuce, green onions, herbs and Swiss chard. The crunch of car wheels on gravel announces the arrival of helpers.
May 25, 2006 |
Farmers markets are blossoming everywhere. Blooming. Often, booming. Dozens of new markets have opened in the city and suburbs over the last few years, and the Delaware Valley College farm market in Doylestown has expanded exponentially, moving indoors for year-round operation, open seven days a week. And shoppers' expectations are growing along with them. More vendors. More products. More variety. Many markets now offer meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products - from milk to cheese - usually from pastured, "humanely raised" stock.
October 30, 2005 |
What we like: This family-owned farmers market has an awe-inspiring selection of apples from the local favorite, the tangy Stayman Winesap, and the sweet Honey Crisp (the hot new apple!) to the old-fashioned Winter Banana apple. The apple-laden tables have signs to inform customers about the flavors and textures of various varieties and to recommend what's good for snacking or baking or both. A half-bushel (about 24 pounds) is $19.95; a peck (about 12 pounds) is $10.95, and a half-peck (about six pounds)
August 25, 2005 |
The mercury may not show it, but we're rushing headlong to the end of summer. That back-to-school feeling is creeping up on us, a feeling that makes even grown-ups eye sheaves of lined paper and freshly sharpened pencils with a mixture of longing and dread. "Make it last," a voice within us whispers, and we buy up (or pick, for the gardeners among us) bags of fresh corn, sun-warmed tomatoes, bouquets of basil, and the other late-summer bounty, and set to work. "If I were a poet, I'd write a poem about the peaches we're getting in now," said Bob Pierson, who runs Farm to City, (www.
August 21, 2005 |
Flower Guy David Bauman sat at a table in the searing sun, surrounded by long-stemmed blooms in buckets of water. Before selling a profusely colorful handful for $6, he dispensed a biology lesson, with advice on how to keep the flowers alive for seven days. "Snip the ends, because the cells at the bottom form an embolism, or a bubble, that will stop the flower from taking up water," Bauman said on a recent Saturday morning. And the water in the vase also should be changed daily, he said, because algae keep the stems from hydrating.
June 5, 2005 |
The Collingswood Farmers Market is only about a block long, but sometimes it takes up to a half-hour for Pam Ciervo to walk from one end to another. Often she doesn't even make it to the end, particularly if she sees something she wants to buy or a friend she hasn't seen in a while, or if a vendor has a problem. After nearly 20 years of living in Collingswood, Ciervo has a lot of neighbors to talk to. And after five years as coordinator of the popular Saturday market at the PATCO High-Speed Line station, she has befriended many of the people she has persuaded to come sell homegrown or homemade fruits and vegetables, soaps, jams and chicken potpies, plants, even cookies shaped like bikinis.