Farmers markets offer fresh products with more flavor
By Brittany Goncar
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Grocery stores have almost anything a consumer could want, from star fruit to naturally-raised chicken.
What the consumer doesn't necessarily know is when the produce was picked. Farmers markets featuring local produce and other items in the South Hills include the Lions Club in Pleasant Hills, Caste Village in Whitehall Borough and the New Wine Harvest Church in Baldwin Borough.
Simmons Farm in McMurray participates in more than 16 farmers markets a week, including the South Hills.
“The goal is to pick the produce the same day it is sold,” said Bob Simmons, 51, who owns the farm with his brother, Scott.
Prices can get driven down by competition with other farmers, which is good for the consumer, but bad for the farmers, Simmons said.
Simmons sells corn, tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, zucchini, peaches and other seasonal products.
Markets also are a place to get to know the farmer and ask any questions about how the produce is grown.
“What I like at the farm is that you can talk to the person who picked it out of the ground and grew it,” said Alex Pattison, a chiropractor at the City of Bridges Chiropractic office in Brentwood, “compared to a high school student at a grocery store.”
Pattison, of Bethel Park, presented a seminar on nutrition called “How to Lose 10 in 20” at the Brentwood Civic Center yesterday. He will give a second seminar July 31 at 7:30 p.m. Pattison suggests asking farmers when and where produce was picked, as well as if pesticides were used.
Pattison recommends consumers ask similar questions about meat. He said it's important to find out if the animal was grass fed and grain finished.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture still considers an animal grass-fed if it is given grain within 100 days before slaughter. An animal that is fed grain has more fatty tissue, making it susceptible to illness that would be treated with antibiotics.
Temple Farm in Scott Township frequents the New Wine Harvest Church Market in Baldwin Borough. It offers grass- and grain-fed pork and beef products.
“We don't add antibiotics or hormones,” said Shawn Temple. “The only time we give them an antibiotic is if they are sick, which is almost never. The cattle are pretty much pastured year round; they aren't confined.”
Consumers also might notice a steeper price for the locally-raised meat.
“There are some things you can buy in the grocery store at half of what we are charging, and some is the same price,” Temple said. “Part of what people don't understand is that the meat at the grocery store, (grocers) they can buy (meat) it for less than it costs us to raise it.”
Farmers markets are available to almost everyone.
“They are all really good for community,” Simmons said.
Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baldwin police seeking two men suspected in robbery
- Baldwin-Whitehall School District security deal not unanimous
- Brentwood’s school resource officer a multitask facilitator
- Revised housing development plan submitted to Baldwin Borough officials
- Whitehall library discussion offers education to parents of autistic children