Connellsville, Scottdale to host farmers markets this summer
Connellsville's Farmers Market will open July 6 and local growers are urged to plan to participate.
“New vendors are always needed and welcomed at all of our farmers markets, whether you are a full-time farmer, a hobby farmer or gardener or plant produce to sell on the side, you are needed at your local farmers market. If you plant a garden for yourself, consider planting several extra plants of each type of vegetable you normally would plant or, plant several extra rows of one or two types of vegetables. You can chose to come to just one of our farmers markets or as many as you would like,” said Bob Junk, local economy manager for Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
Residents are reminded to shop weekly at Connellsville's Farmers Market in the PNC parking lot and be open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through Sept. 28 or Scottdale's Farmers Market in the Rite-Aid parking lot on Broadway Street, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays from July 11 to Sept. 26.
“The Fayette County Cultural Trust is proud to be able to help facilitate the farmers market in Connellsville. Having access to fresh, locally-grown produce is a tremendous asset to any community and having one conveniently located in our downtown is beneficial to our citizens. It is also a wonderful time to catch up with old friends or make some new ones. We look forward to seeing everyone starting July 6th,” said Michael Edwards, Fayette County Cultural Trust president.
Vendor set-up fee is $10 weekly at Connellsville's market. Others may vary.
“Our local farmers markets are a great way to access fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Plus, you have an opportunity to connect to the farmers that grow the produce,” said Junk.
The farmers markets will continue to welcome Buy Local Community Discount Cards with Buy Local Bucks. The first 20 cardholders to arrive at the market will receive a $5 voucher (Buy Local Bucks), which can be used at any of the vendors at the market that day. Those who have not yet purchased a Buy Local Discount Card can do so at the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce office, Kisiel & Associates PC or online at www.buylocalfayette.org. The new Buy Local Card includes an additional feature — a key fob will make it easier for those who want to carry it on a key ring for convenience.
For more information about becoming a vendor or want a vendor application, contact Jennifer Kooser at 724-437-7913 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fay-Penn Economic Development Council and The Buy Local Network will manage seven farmers markets for the 2013 season, one more than last year.
In Fayette County, in addition to Connellsville, farmers markets' will be held in: Brownsville, Wednesdays, 4 to 7 p.m. in the Market Street parking lot; Masontown, Fridays, 4 to 7 p.m. in the German-Masontown Park; Ohiopyle, Saturdays, 2 to 6 p.m. in the guided raft tour parking lot off Dinner Bell Road (this is a change from previous years due to ongoing construction in the park near the falls and downtown Ohiopyle); and Uniontown, Mondays, 4 to 7 p.m. on Main Street near Storey Square, in conjunction with the Storey Square Concert Series.
Markets begin after July 4 and run until the last week of September.
“Agriculture is a vital sector of our economy that is often overlooked and the trickle-down effect of supporting local growers and producers can readily be seen when you talk to local farmers. They spend their money locally at feed stores, farm supply stores etc. So, when you spend your money at farmers markets, not only are you investing in your local food supply, you are also investing in your local economy,” said Junk.
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.