Whitehall farmers' market offers new additions

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The aroma of simmering pulled pork fill the parking lot as kettle corn sizzles in a large pot nearby.

Tomatoes, strawberries, kale, jelly-filled cookies, fudge and bottles of wine line tables in the center aisles at the Shoppes at Caste Village each Monday afternoon.

The Whitehall Recreation Department's seventh annual farmers market offers more than fruits and vegetables. New vendors this year include Bethel Bakery, Pa Jelly Company and Thousand Hills Heritage Family Farm. The market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Mondays in the Caste Village parking lot through the end of September, excluding Labor Day.

“When you think of a farmers market, you think of rows and rows of produce. It's so much more. It's the whole atmosphere of the people cooking on site, the pierogi truck, kettle corn,” Whitehall recreation director Kelly Joyce said. “It's almost like a family event.”

There are 19 vendors at the market this year. Three from last year did not return: Lorelei's Cupcakes, Allegheny City Smokehouse and Chuck's Salsa. Joyce said she could not reach them this year when seeking vendors.

Market staples Simmons, Trax and Kerns farms are back, along with Callifonte Foods, which sells a variety of fresh and frozen pastas. Pittsburgh Pierogi Truck, Rowdy BBQ and Zach's Market Greek Foods, which sells gyros, all have returned.

The new vendors are what Joyce is most excited about this year, she said.

Washington, Pa.-based Pa Jelly Company will sell a variety of jams, apple butter, pumpkin butter, relishes, salsa, pickled beets and Amish canned goods.

Several years ago, the Whitehall market had an Amish vendor. Joyce said bringing that selection back is exciting.

Thousand Hills, a poultry farm, will sell frozen cuts of chicken and turkey, as well as eggs and different produce, such as colored carrots, “super hot” peppers, kale and red garlic, Joyce said.

Bethel Bakery will have a variety of baked goods. Popular items this week were triple berry cake and angel food cake, which marketing and sales coordinator Alyssa Cowen said go well with other items sold at the market.

“It's been nothing but good here,” Cowen said.

Kayla Naumann, 7, and her sister Alyssa, 4, enjoy coming to the Whitehall market with their parents, Tina and Butch.

“We get stuff — cupcakes,” Kayla said.

The family also gets to spend time together while shopping and taste-testing the various items at the market.

Tim Mazzocca, 32, and Andrea Parise, 29, both of Baldwin Borough, come for the local buys and fresh produce, but they also enjoy the pierogi truck.

“It's a nice mix of things,” Mazzocca said.

Don Weiner, 74, of Castle Shannon, also stops by for the produce, but doesn't leave without getting something to eat.

“I like the Pierogi Man,” Weiner said, also noting his favorites are the “home-grown tomatoes.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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