The 2014 growing season is in full swing, and local agricultural producers are bringing a bounty of fresh vegetables, fruits and handmade crafts to a farmers market near you. Members of Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local (NTBFBL) are anxious to get the word out about the many locations where their products are available.
Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR), which took NTBFBL under it’s stewardship in 2013, recently released a comprehensive brochure that celebrates the contributions of its members by providing details about where and when food and other items they produce are available for purchase.
The goal of NTBFBL is to make it easier for consumers to find, choose and appreciate local foods which, in turn, supports farmers and farmland retention. EMHR’s adoption of the initiative was seen as plus for those who originated it, the growers, and EMHR, which celebrates agriculture as its primary theme.
“It seemed like a logical extension of what we do,” Swank stated, noting that interpreting and relaying that theme presented a unique challenge for EMHR because the organization engages the private sector, which is comprised largely of family-owned operations.
The 2014 Farmers Markets listing includes farm and produce stands in the six-county region currently served by NTBFBL, as well as venues outside the area where producers are share the bounty of the Endless Mountains region.
The brochures are available at the French Azilum Historic Site in Bradford County, the Mansfield Growers Market in Tioga County, Russell Sprouts Farms near Rome in Bradford County, and, in Towanda on the Merrill Parkway, The Weigh Station Café and Endless Mountains Heritage Center (the little red house at the corner of Jefferson St.)
The brochure is also available in PDF format at www.emheritage.org. Anybody who would like bulk copies for distribution may contact EMHR Director Phil Swank at 570-265-1528. According to Swank, the pamphlet is free to all consumers thanks to the support of advertisers and chapter members.
Under the BFBL banner, Swank has seen producers of similar products, such as maple syrup, band together for family-oriented, hands-on events, and he is hopeful that EMHR will be able to further enhance the networking capabilities for growers. “It serves as a platform for ag producers to host themed weekends,” said Swank.
In addition to the Farmers Markets brochure, the Local Food Guide, celebrating homegrown produce in Bradford, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming Counties in Pennsylvania, is also available at the aforementioned locations, as well at the Endless Mountains Visitors Center near Tunkhannock and Northern Tier Cultural Alliance in Towanda. The 16-page full-color guide provides locations and contact information for farms, wineries, dairies, restaurants and stores that are committed to sales of food grown in the region.
In Bradford County, farmers markets are currently open at Canton, Sayre, Towanda, and Wyalusing. In Sullivan County, there are farmers markets in Dushore and Eagles Mere. In Susquehanna County, farmers markets are located in Montrose and Hop Bottom. Tioga County locations include Mansfield and Wellsboro, and there is a market open in Coudersport in Potter County. A market near Tunkhannock in Wyoming County will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, beginning July 21.
Most local markets are open just one day per week, and hours vary greatly. Interested readers are encouraged to pick up or download a copy of the Farmers Markets brochure for specific details. The eight-page pamphlet also contains information about additional outlets for local produce in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties in Pennsylvania and in Chemung and Tioga Counties in New York State.