Pennsylvania Ag Department Celebrates 10th Annual National Farmers Market Week

August 5, 2009

Farm Markets Offer Fresh, Affordable Foods; are Travel Destinations

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Consumers looking for fresh, affordable produce, baked goods and wine can find it all at Pennsylvania’s farm markets, state Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Pechart said today as he marked the 10th annual National Farmers Market Week, which runs from Aug. 2-8.

Pechart made his remarks during a visit to the Scranton Cooperative Farmers Market. The market is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have more than 1,500 farmers markets where consumers can buy fresh, nutritious foods,” said Pechart. “From individual roadside stands to large farmers markets that feature a variety of specialty items, these markets are a great way for people to connect with local producers, while supporting them and Pennsylvania’s economy.”

Many Pennsylvania farm markets are travel destinations, added Pechart, giving visitors the opportunity to visit the farm or orchard to pick berries, apples, peaches, grapes and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Consumers can find local farm markets using the Pennsylvania Farm Market Guide, which lists farm markets by county and provides the name, location, dates and hours of operation, types of food sold, and contact information for each entry. The guide also notes farm markets participating in the state’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which benefits older adults, and Women, Infants and Children participants.

Farmers markets accepted more than $4.9 million in WIC and Senior FMNP vouchers in 2008.

Other representatives of the state and city attended today’s event, as did farmers who spoke about the importance of the market to their livelihood.

Paul Brace, an eighth-generation farmer and partner at Brace’s Orchard, addressed the crowd and said, “There would be no Brace’s Orchard without the farmers market.”

Brace’s family has sold food including apples, peaches, nectarines and baked goods at the Scranton Cooperative Market for nearly 60 years.

To search for a farm market, visit http://pda.state.pa.us/farmmarkets. For more information on farm markets or to request a guide, contact Kathy Cutman at 717-783-9948 or kcutman@state.pa.us.

    CONTACT:  Justin Fleming

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: newswire

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