What’s New in Farmers’ Markets

You just can’t beat the sweet tang that explodes in your mouth when you bite into a really ripe tomato, fresh off the vine. And homegrown strawberries are beyond exquisite.

But if you don’t have the time (or room) for a backyard garden, you can still enjoy fabulous fruits, vegetables and other products by visiting the many farmers’ markets that dot our area. Here’s a quick look at some of them.

Easton Farmers’ Market
Centre Square
May 7 – November 26
Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM

“This is the oldest continuous open-air farmers’ market in the U.S.,” says Megan McBride, market manager. “It has operated since 1752.”

It is a producer-only market, so everything sold is grown or produced by the sellers themselves.

Returning vendors include Beechwood Orchards, Blue Blaze Farm (certified naturally grown produce), Keepsake Farm & Dairy; Creekside Bakery, Easton Salsa Co., Dale & Georgia Biscuit Co. (all-natural dog treats) and Stage Coach Orchard Apiary (all-natural honey products).

Check the website for details about the Strawberry Festival, Zucchini 500 race, and other events and to get a newsletter and weekly recipes.

“It’s the only farmers’ market in the Valley with an electronic benefit transfer system for ACCESS cards,” McBride adds. “It can also accept regular debit cards.”

Emmaus Farmers’ Market
235 Main St.
(KNBT bank’s parking lot)
May 1- November 20
Sundays, 10 AM – 2 PM
Also on Facebook

The market enters its ninth year of operation with nearly 20 vendors offering fresh, local fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, baked goods and decorative plants. “Everything is grown or made within a 75-mile radius of the Valley,” says market manager Christi Dunning.

Look for perennial favorites Backyard Bison, Flour Shop Bakery, North Star Orchard (heritage/heirloom tree fruits), Saxman Breads, Stagecoach Orchard Apiary (honey products), Teprovich Farm and Bakery, among others.

The market features live music, cooking demonstrations using local ingredients and a variety of kids’ activities.

Chairs and tables provide a café-style ambience, and registered vendors accept Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks.

Sign up for a weekly e-newsletter on the website, or follow the market on Facebook.

Macungie Farmers’ Market
Macungie Memorial Park
(50 Poplar St.)
June 2 – October 27
Thursdays, 4 PM – 7 PM.
Also on Facebook

The Macungie Farmers’ market enters its fifth season this year, and will continue to bring strictly seasonal (and strictly local) fruits and vegetables to local plates.

Returning vendors include Pappy’s Orchard and Lisa’s Kitchen, Nana’s Produce and More, Doggie Dough Cookie Mix Co., and many more.

Offerings will vary throughout the season because of Mother Nature’s ripening schedule, but shoppers can click on the site’s “What’s Fresh?” link and see an easy-to-read grid.

Special events will include Noah’s World petting zoo (date TBD), monthly grilling demonstrations—using ingredients available at the market— a weekly vendor-sponsored raffle and plenty more.

The market is excited about its anniversary. “We have lots of events in the works,” says Chris Boehm, market manager, but they were still under wraps at press time. Keep informed via a weekly e-mail message; sign up for it by e-mailing webmaster@macungie.pa.us.

Coopersburg Farmers’ Market
21 North Main Street
Late May – October 6
Thursdays, 3:30 PM – 7:00 PM

“We had five vendors in 2010,” says Wendy Sinko, market manager and owner of Bee Natural health food store, “and we hope to have as many as 15 this year.”

A partnership of the Coopersburg Business Revitalization Program, the market provides locally grown produce and related products, and supports local farmers.

Ladybug Gardens and Pappy’s Orchard offer fresh produce; Lisa’s Kitchen sells bread and other baked goods; Balasia provides vegan foods; and Wash Tyme Soap Company features homemade soaps and detergents. New vendor Inside Scoop offers ice cream, water ice and frozen yogurt treats.

“It’s a very family-friendly experience,” Sinko says. “We offer music, activities for the kids, and monthly contests and drawings. It’s easy to stop in after work, or just walk here.”

The market will provide updates and reminders to anyone who registers on uppersaucon.patch.com.

Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market
Water St. Park, Hellertown
May 1 to Nov. 20
Sundays, 9 AM – 1 PM

Based on the 2010 vendor list, the coming season should be an impressive one. Here are just a few of them:

• After Ewe Farm: grass fed lamb, pelts, yarn, and roving

• Karen’s Sweets: scratch-made all-occasion cakes and sweets

• Karibean Kappra Body Care Solutions: lotions and butters

• The Popcorn Pit: kettle corn and assorted nuts

• Quartz Hill Farm: herbs and gourmet vegetables

• Ridge Valley Farms: maple syrups and maple-enhanced nuts, cookies, etc.

The market will burst with special events, “We’ve had sunflower growing contests, a ‘Doggie and Daddy’ look-alike contest, pumpkin and apple pie contests, and others. And June will see our first ever chili contest” said market manager Shelley Goldberg.

Get a list of seasonal produce and delicious weekly recipes through the website.

Bath Farmers’ Market
Keystone Park
(corner of Race and Green Sts.)
May 27 – late October
Sundays, 3 PM – 7 PM

Launched as an effort to revitalize downtown Bath, the market is really starting to take off, says manager Fiona Adamsky. Entering its third year, it is run by a dedicated corps of volunteers. Returning vendors include Graver Farmstead (specialty tomatoes, peppers, field greens); Keepsake Farm and Dairy (yogurt, cheese, ice cream, beef), Blue Blaze Farm and Scholl Orchard (fruits and vegetables).

Shoppers can prepare to “Get Fresh on Friday” by checking out the market’s website. It includes a “ripe and ready” grid, a detailed list of vendors, and a calendar of special events. Live music and crafters appear regularly and you can find market updates on Facebook (search for Bath Business and Community Partnership).

Bethlehem Farmers’ Market
Corner of New and Morton Sts. May 19-Oct. 27
Thursdays, 11 AM – 3 PM

Operating for nearly 10 years, the market has been in its present location since 2006. It offers customers a chance to enjoy samples, chat with the vendors who offer plenty of information and cooking tips, and mingle with friends.

Past vendors include Suyundalla Farm (produce, brown eggs, and sheep, and field crops), HumDinger Alpacas (wool goods), Tasty Pastry (cookies, cakes and baked goods), the Popcorn Pit and Easton Salsa Company. Everything complies with “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” guidelines.

The market hopes to add a dairy vendor for 2011.

Scholl Orchards
3057 Center St., Bethlehem
Late June to the end of January
Summer hours:
Mon. – Fri., 10 AM – 6 PM;
Sat./Sun., 10 – 4.

Now in its third-generation of family ownership, the orchard maintains two farms where it produces its own cherries, apples, plums, nectarines, pears, apricots and 20 varieties of peaches. In addition to produce, its store on Center St. offers fresh flowers, honey from Scholl hives and apple cider. You’ll also find vegetables and fruits galore from other farms.

“Everything is produced locally,” says owner George Scholl. “Nothing comes from further away than Kutztown.”

Visit the orchard’s website, and you’ll see a ripening calendar, information about the benefits of buying (and eating) local, and a spot for requesting a monthly newsletter that lists special sales and other in-store events.

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