It’s that time of year when local farmers’ markets are in full swing and it’s an opportunity to participate in the local Center County food system. You can visit a local farmers market or farm stalls and browse the wide variety of local produce and other goodies available from the vendors. Many of these markets follow the flow of produce from early spring produce to the great abundance and variety of summer produce to fall produce and some even move indoors for winter markets .
Farmers’ markets can be a great time to socialize with local growers and learn about their operations and the growing systems they use on their farms, whether certified organic, conventional or hybrid. I wanted to give a quick overview of some of the local farmers markets found in Center County.
The first is the Downtown State College Street Market, which is open Friday 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through November at Locust Lane between College and Beaver Avenues. The market offers a wide variety of local produce, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, dairy products, wines, flowers, pastries, sauces, organic soaps, personal products and more. Like the markets in Europe, there is a wide array of fresh flowers and pretty plants that can adorn the dinner table. Tip: Parking in one of the municipal car parks can be validated at the market.
The Tuesday State College Farmer’s Market is open from June to November on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It’s located on Locust Lane in downtown State College, like the Friday Farmer’s Market, but they both have different vendors.
Then comes the Atherton North Farmers Market which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays May through November and is located in the Home Depot parking lot on North Atherton Street and has over 30 vendors lining the Home Depot parking lot on summer Saturdays with everything from fresh salmon and trout fresh produce, breads and even seasonal fruit (peaches, cherries, pears, apples, depending on the season) at a Bloomsburg farmer’s. There are food trucks serving grass-fed beef burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream, and other treats.
We pass to the Boalsburg Farmer’s Market which is open 2-6 p.m. Tuesdays from early May through the first week of November and is located outside in the parking lot of the PA Military Museum along Routes 322/45 in the Village of Boalsburg. They have about 25 permanent vendors as well as a handful of guest vendors offering a wide variety of products, from Alaskan-caught salmon to homemade cakes and pies to all the in-demand seasonal produce you can imagine. They say this market is the place to wet your whistle, whether you want to buy locally made kombucha, sample wines from Seven Mountains Winery, buy something from Good Intent Cider, or buy a growler from Elk’s beer truck. Creek Cafe. You can buy but no drink allowed on site, however.
Then we venture a little further down the Millheim Farmer’s Market which is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from early May through late October and is located at the American Legion Lodge, 112 Legion Lane in Spring Mills. They have about a dozen vendors offering apples and apple products, maple syrup, honey, lamb, wool items, beef, cheese, pork, chicken, flowers, garlic, ginger, sauces and ketchup, plus tons of fresh vegetables.
We pass to the Bellefonte Farmer’s Market which is open 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from early May to mid-November and is located at 160 Dunlap St., Bellefonte. The market offers a range of locally grown vegetables and fruits, farm fresh eggs, cheese and meat, natural homemade produce and delicious pastries. When summer turns to fall, you can find pumpkins, mums, and other fall staples here.
Then we move through Center County to the Pine Grove Mills Farmers Market which is open 3-7pm on Thursdays from mid-June through September and is in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on State Road 45. The market offers a range of locally grown produce, meats and eggs and offers a wide variety of other treats including honey, wine and spirits, coffee, soft and hard cider, artisan breads, soaps and more. Again, you can buy dinner from the World’s Fare Catering food truck while you browse and chat with vendors.
Another market on the outskirts of town is Hillside Amish Farmer’s Market open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. located on the grounds of State College’s Assembly of God, 2201 University Drive, State College. They have a wide variety of freshly picked vegetables and other treats to suit your palette.
If you live in Philipsburg, you can visit the Philipsburg Farmer’s Market i.e. in the parking lot of the Moshannon building on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May to September.
Additionally, you can shop at Harner Farm located at 2191 W. Whitehall Road, State College. They are open from May to December, from 9 a.m. until dusk Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tait Farm is located 2.5 miles east of Boalsburg on US Route 322. They are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. mountain farm is located at 605 Sengle Lane, Julian. They are open from 6 p.m. to dusk Monday through Friday from the first week of June to early mid-August. Way Fruit Farm is in Port Mathilde. They are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. White’s Farm Products is located near the central hall. They have strawberry picking daily from 9am to 8pm and black raspberry picking in July.
As you can see, we have plenty of opportunities in Center County to shop for fresh, local produce and treats, so take the time and support your local growers and vendors. Check their websites for more detailed information.
Bill Lamont is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Plant Sciences at Penn State and can be contacted by email: [email protected]