I admit it - I live in Farm Stand Land. I live in Central Pennsylvania, nestled between Adams County and their fruit orchards, Lancaster County and their corn and vegetable fields and in the middle of York County which has both fruit orchards and vegetable fields. I do not do well in cities or with traffic or loud noises polluting my world. I used to think I would be a city dweller, but I tried it and I didn’t really like it. My commute is all rural - no highways at all and the only thing slowing me down is if my timing is off and I fall behind a school bus. Since I’m a teacher, I have to have my timing perfect to avoid the one bus that seems to catch me going north. Anyway, I digress - I’m a canner without a garden so I depend on my farm stands.
A few weeks ago I was writing that everyone had to have their favorite farm stand because how else do you survive without your local sources of fruits and vegetables? Not only do I can, I also dehydrate, ferment and freeze produce every year. And produce is crucial as a vegan to my life and well being. Not only are Farm Stands crucial - but you should try a CSA!
There are two great CSA programs near my house: Mad Radish Farms and Mt. Airy Orchards. A CSA is a community supported agriculture program that you prepay and then the farm will guarantee you a share of what they produce over the spring, summer and fall. I have been a member of both of these incredible programs. What is great about the Mt Airy farm is that it is a joint program with their brother’s farm so it is half fruit and half vegetable. And it runs usually between May and the early fall. Mad Radish is an organic vegetable farm that has items all year long including meats and dairy that I avoid with a passion. But they have green houses to provide greens for most of the year. So if you have a CSA near you - the membership is worth every penny.
But, that does not cover my canning issues. That would be a division between Nolts and the fruit orchards. I call Nolts in May and put in my order for all the vegetables I think I need to preserve and how many bushels I need from them. This year I got ½ bushel of beets to can my pickled beets and onions, 4 bushels of tomatoes for all my tomato products, 2 bushels of green beans because my daughter in South Carolina's family likes canned green beans (the rest of the family wants frozen or fresh), ½ bushel of jalapenos, 13 dozen ears of corn and ½ bushel of cucumbers. Nolts will be open all year for my yukon gold potatoes and 3 different kinds of sweet potatoes along with my butternut squashes and cabbage. When they run out in the spring sometime - I have to find a store to keep me going.
But, the question was how do you find a farm stand? Near you? I’m going to take my bestie’s location of Cincinnati, Ohio and see what I can find from my condo here in York, Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, we can start with looking at our Penn State Cooperative Extension’s information for the farm stands in our state.
In Ohio, they do have an Ohio State Extension as a part of Ohio State University. Although it has classes and canning information I could not find a list of farm stands. But, at Ohio Proud I found: Find a Farmer’s Market. I typed in Cincinnati and found the Mt Washington Farmers’ Market, Montgomery Farmers’ Market and the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market. Then you can see where the address is and when they are open and the hours that they run. For example, Mt. Washington Farmers’ Market is from June-October on Thursdays from 3-7 pm. The Montgomery Farmers’ Market is open from May - October on Saturday mornings. And finally the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market is open on Sundays from May through October and they nicely list everything they carry. I tried to post a link - but it will not let me so here it is: http://ohioproud.org/farm-markets-all/
Another way is to just ask Google. I got Blooms & Berries Farm Market in Loveland and a Northside Farmer's Market and Findlay Market on just the first page of the searches - it also had Hyde Park's market but we already saw that one.
So I looked at Findlay Market. This place has everything and is one that has been operating continuously in the same iron-framed building since 1855! (Information is directly from their website). They have produce and meats and seafood and plants. When I come to visit you, D. Thea Baldrick - you must take me to see this! If I remember your house - this is probably not that far away from you! And if I remember my years at the University of Cincinnati, I know that this has to be pretty downtown. Herban Vegans have a carry out stand! What an exciting find! And Bouchard's Pasta with piles of homemade pasta. You have a second vegan place - Harmony Plant Fare! Dips, sauces and dressings that is PLANT BASED! Seriously, this place is like our York Central Market - it has everything. I just don't hit our market since I live near the actual farms.
Now if you want actual farms - you will have to leave the cities. One of my family's favorite Saturday things to do is go farm market hunting. We know the areas which are farm land and we usually start with one we know like Peters Orchards in Adams County and take a new road from there. That is how we found Eden Farms which is not only anyone's beaten path. It is a great multi-generational family trip and we come back with healthy snack foods that everyone enjoys! And right now this is what we see a lot of:
Go out and explore and find a farmer's market in your downtown that has multiple vendors or the actual farms in the country - it is worth it to eat local and support local. And if you need help finding one - I will search for you too!
About the Creator
I write, I read, I cook, I preserve, I strive to be my best at them all. But, writing, cooking and preserving are all works in progress - just like life. I've got the reading down pat except for the lack of time.