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Farmers markets to move indoors for winter

| Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 9:31 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Charlie Kleyn, 2, of Latrobe, tries to pick up a pumpkin at the Latrobe Farmers' Market in Legion Keener Park on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.

With falling leaves and falling temperatures, local farmers are packing up from their posts at summer markets — and some will be moving indoors.

Tony Shepler, owner of Battaglia's Catering, helped organize an indoor market featuring some Latrobe Farmers Market vendors.

Because of popular demand, Shepler has worked with regulars at the Latrobe Farmers Market to begin an indoor version to be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through May at the Cooperstown Event Center, 2541 Thomas St.

Demand has been high for his and other vendors' products, Shepler said, since families realize everything is locally produced and homemade.

“More people want this than fast food anymore,” he said.

Jim Mikula, who helps organize the Latrobe and Keystone State Park markets, will participate in the indoor markets.

Even without much of the fresh produce because of the changing seasons, he hopes the indoor market is just as successful as outdoor versions.

“I think the first few weeks will tell the tale,” he said.

During the last Latrobe Farmers Market, D.J. and Kate Kleyn of Latrobe were there with their 2-year-old daughter Charlie buying produce. Vendor Jay Ritenour presented an apple to the toddler.

“You get to know the people,” said Ritenour of Daugherty's Orchards in Murrysville. “They're wonderful. They'll come to see you just to talk. That's the best part about the markets, and up in Ligonier they'll look for you.”

The final Latrobe Farmers Market was Oct. 22, while the last farmers market at Keystone State Park was in September, and the Ligonier Country Market ended just before Fort Ligonier Days on Oct. 5.

Angela Iezzi, who coordinates the Ligonier market, said attendance was high this year, including about 130 vendors for the 3,000 customers in each of the 21 weeks, but an official visitor count has not been taken for the past few years.

“We had very little rain on Saturdays, which was remarkable considering it was a rainy season,” she said.

The country market will also move indoors for a holiday-themed event. The Ligonier Country Christmas Market will feature about 70 vendors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Ligonier YMCA, 110 W. Church St.

The holiday version still follows the country market's seasonal motto: “Make it, bake it, grow it,” Iezzi said. Everything is homemade and will include produce, baked goods and crafts.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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