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Locally sourced food is appealing to a growing number of consumers across the country. Here in State College, we’re lucky to live near a plethora of picturesque farms whose owners till the soil and tend the herds to produce fresh veggies, dairy products and meat – all for us!
We can enjoy the fruits of their labor at several area farmers markets each week year-round – and we should, says Tony Musso, owner of Nittany Valley Organics and president of the Downtown State College Indoor Farmers Market.
“Local farmers need community support more than ever,” Musso says.
And in this area, all the farmers markets are producer-only markets, so everything that’s sold there has to have been grown or made by the vendors.
“The best thing about going to a farmers market here, from a consumer’s standpoint, is if you have any questions at all about something, those questions are going to be answered by the person who planted it, grew it and harvested it,” Musso says.
Here’s a look at where you can grab fresh produce, meat, eggs and so much more just a few miles from home.
For an Official Visitors Guide: Click Here
When: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May to November
Where: Locust Lane between College Ave. and Beaver Ave.
What: Local produce, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, dairy products, wines, flowers, baked goods, sauces, organic soaps and personal products, and more can be found each week in downtown State College.
Don’t Miss: The fresh flowers and pretty plants that catch the eye of passersby are a weekly purchase for many.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. first Friday in May to last Friday before Thanksgiving
Where: Locust Lane between College Ave. and Beaver Ave.
What: About 20 vendors sell fresh pasta, fresh bread, fresh pastries, fresh flowers, and all the usual produce, meats, cheeses and other products farmers market patrons have come to count on to keep their kitchens stocked.
Tip: Parking in any of the municipal parking garages can be validated at the market.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from May through November
Where: The Home Depot parking lot, North Atherton St.
What: More than 30 vendors line the Home Depot parking lot on summer Saturdays with everything from salmon and trout to fresh produce, breads, and even in-season fruit (peaches, cherries, pears, apples, depending on what’s in season) from a farmer in Bloomsburg.
Tip: Don’t miss the food trucks, including grass-fed beef burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream and other goodies.
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays from the beginning of May to the first week of November
Where: outdoors at the PA Military Museum parking lot along Routes 322/45 in Boalsburg
What: About 25 permanent vendors plus a smattering of guest vendors offer a wide variety of goods, from Alaskan-caught salmon to homemade cakes and pies to all the in-demand, in-season produce you can think of.
Tip: This market is the place to wet your whistle, whether you want to purchase locally made kombucha, sample a swallow from Seven Mountains Winery, buy something from Good Intent Cider, or purchase a growler from Elk Creek Café’s beer truck. No drinking allowed on-site, though.
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from the beginning of May until the end of October
Where: American Legion pavilion, 112 Legion Lane in Spring Mills
What: About a dozen vendors offer apples and apple products, maple syrup, honey, lamb, wool items, beef, cheese, pork, chicken, flowers, garlic, ginger, sauces and ketchup, plus tons of fresh veggies.
Tip: Check out the Learning Garden for fresh herbs and to see gardening demonstrations. And once a month vendors collaborate on a special theme or program to keep things interesting.
When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays from early May through mid-November
Where: Gamble Mill parking lot, 160 Dunlap St. and W. Lamb St.
What: Locally grown veggies and fruit, farm-fresh eggs, cheese and meat, natural home products and delicious baked goods can be found each Saturday in Bellefonte.
Tip: When summer slides into autumn, you can find pumpkins, mums and other fall staples here.
When: 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays from mid-June through September
Where: St. Paul Lutheran Church parking lot on PA-45
What: In addition to locally grown produce, meat and eggs, this new market offers a wide variety of other goodies including honey, wine and spirits, coffee, sweet and hard cider, artisan breads, soaps and more.
Tip: Grab dinner from the World’s Fare Catering food truck while you browse.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays from Dec. – April
Where: lobby of the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St.
What: A handful of vendors you see in the outdoor markets downtown in the summertime spend the winter warm and welcoming, offering patrons fresh dairy products, salmon, trout, grass-fed beef, pork and poultry, locally grown, chemical-free produce, organic health and beauty products, and Brazilian snacks.
Tip: If you park at one of the municipal parking garages, they’ll validate your parking pass at the market.
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays from mid-November through April
Where: Indoors at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 218 N. Church St. in Boalsburg
What: About 15-18 vendors pack the church basement to offer market fans the best in-season produce along with Gemelli Bakers breads, wild-caught salmon, meat and poultry, locally made cheeses, raw milk, soaps and lotions, honey, maple syrup and more.
Tip: Try some of Nomad Kitchen’s prepared foods, and fresh pasta from Fasta & Ravioli Co.
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays in November and December
Where: Hosterman & Stover Hardware, 190 W. Main St., Millheim
What: A smaller collection of vendors from Millheim’s outdoor market are given space inside the local hardware store on Saturdays when the weather turns cold. You’ll find in-season produce, meat and dairy products, along with wool products, maple syrup and more.
Tip: Catch a local guest vendor selling wreaths and other greenery as the holidays approach.