It is easy to run into a grocery store and throw some produce, bread, dairy and meat into a cart and call it healthy.
But, can you know for sure where this food was grown or raised? Can you know for sure what pesticides were used?
Farmer’s markets are available year ‘round in our area, not only during the warmer months, and folks working at these markets can answer these questions for you, said Cynthia Clayton, Nutrition Advisor with Penn State Extension covering Union, Snyder and Northumberland Counties.
“Farmers may provide more information on storage and care of the produce as well as recipe ideas,” she said.
“Unlike the grocery store where produce was, more than likely, picked days ago and then shipped from all over the states, locally grown produce at the farmers market is made available at the peak of harvest, offering freshness and higher nutrient content. Farmers don’t have to worry about shelf life, the quality, and taste for these reasons,” said Samantha Zlotorzynski, Penn State Extension Educator for Food, Families and Health in Sunbury.
Strolling through the market can be an experience in itself,” said Zlotorzynski. “Making connections with local farmers and supporting your community is just one reason why you should consider going to the farmers’ market,” she said.
Patronizing local businesses is another good reason to stop at a Farmer’s Market, said Alison Steibe, Market Manager for Lewisburg Farmer’s Market. “You are supporting local farms and businesses, who depend on your patronage, to be able to continue working,” Steibe said, “Farmer's markets allow you to shop local in one convenient space, and allow local farms and businesses to showcase their products without the overhead costs of their own storefront.”
It’s more affordable than you think, Clayton and Zlotorzynski said.
“The cost at a farmers market compared to a grocery store is comparable, if not lower. Sometimes you can get more for your buck at the farmers market and again you're getting fresh, high quality produce for that amount, “ Zlotorzynski said.
She added that SNAP, Food stamps and WIC can be used at these businesses, too.
Local farmer's markets (not roadside), please check days and hours of sales
Ard's Farm, 4803 Old Turnpike Road, Lewisburg, PA 17837
(570) 374-1044 https://ardsmarket.com/the-market/
Sunbury Market House, 436 Market St., Sunbury
(570) 286-5801 www.sunburymarkethouse.com
Susquehanna Valley Growers Market
Brook Park Pet Supply~Left Entrance, 400 Farley Circle, Lewisburg
Elysburg Farmer’s Market, Memorial Park Avenue and Veterans Way, Elysburg
Lewisburg Farmers’ Market, 600 Fairground Rd, Lewisburg, PA 17837 ·
(814) 237-1960 https://www.lewisburgfarmers.market/
Rorhrbachs Farm Market, 240 Southern Dr, Catawissa, PA, 17820
(570) 356-2597 https://www.rohrbachsfarm.net/
Middleburg Livestock Auction/Market, 6592 Route 522, Middleburg, PA 17842