Shop Local: A Guide to Farmers Markets

by: Tierney Pomone
May 24, 2013

Memorial Day weekend is practically synonymous with backyard cookouts and barbecues. That means many of us will be heading to the store to pick up the ingredients for every snack, entree and dessert imaginable. This year, instead of running to your local grocery, consider hitting up a local farmers markets.

apple basket


Farmer’s markets are great for small business and provide a wealth of items from spices to fruits and vegetables to homemade breads and more. I’m obsessed with the Broad Street Market now that I live in Midtown, but there is a market in almost every neighborhood these days, so grab your tote bag and hit the streets.

PennLive recently did a rundown of local markets, but here are a few of my favorites.

One of the best Harrisburg perks is the PA Farmers Open Air Market, located in the parking lot of the Farm Show Complex every Tuesday and Friday for the past 37 years. You can always find fresh produce and flowers in the market as well as prepared foods. There is plenty of seating if you choose to have your lunch there while you shop, plus parking is free!

Also in Harrisburg, check out midtown’s HomeGrown Market. While they don’t have a lot of food yet, they do have a lot of really awesome homemade and locally produced items that would make great decor for your deck or patio. To read more about the HomeGrown Market, check out Sara’s post.

Not too far of a drive from the city, Carlisle hosts their Farmers on the Square market every Wednesday from 3-7  p.m. The market has local produce including local-made honey. a gluten-free stand, a creamery with fresh cheese and milk, and grass-fed meats. Also, as the summer goes on they love to have special events including live music, historical reenactments and educational stations for kids.

Cassel-VineyardsFor those in Hershey, did you know you have a farmers market right in your backyard as well? On Thursdays check out the Farmers Market in Hershey starting at 2:30 p.m. Every week their website is updated to let you know exactly which vendors will be present so you can get exactly what you’re looking for — including local wine! Then, starting at 6 p.m., they host a summer concert series hosting local bands each week, including our good friends Pat Cusick and Nate Myers & The Aces.

Sounds like a great spot to pick up your groceries, grab some wine and enjoy an evening outside.

tierney alpacaOur furthest destination is the Gettysburg Farmers Market. The best part about hitting up this farmers market is that it isn’t too far away from the Gettysburg Outlets or Gettysburg’s historical sites, so you can make a day of it. There are two things that I absolutely love about this market: the first being the discovery of a new local hard cidery Good Intent Cider (they make a bourbon barrel-aged cider!), and the second is the alpacas! Once again, you can still expect to see all the produce you’ll need to get grilling.

Last, but certainly not least is my favorite, the Broad Street Market. Did you know that this little midtown gem has been operating since 1860 and is the oldest continuously operating market house in the United States? Pretty neat factoid for Harrisburg! I love walking to the market on Thursdays to grab a homemade root beer, lunch from one of the many vendors, and snacks and produce to last me through the week. My favorite part is talking to the owners of the shops and businesses as they are friendly, grateful for return customers, and many can tell you exactly where each item they’re selling came from. Pop in on Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and grab some goodies.

Where is your favorite farmers market?

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