One of the best resources we have to eat local, fresh, and organic foods are farmer’s markets. Now that it’s summer time, farmer’s markets are popping up everywhere. With a variety of vendors, locations, and sizes, farmer’s markets are great to take advantage of to purchase all kinds of delicious and nutritious foods. Not only are you taking a step in the right direction for your health, but also for your community. Supporting your local farmers is crucial to keep the economy and integrity of the community in tact. Many times farmer’s markets also have all kinds of activities like live music and games for kids, so it’s also a reason to get the family together and spend sometime doing something positive!
One charming farmer’s market in the Lehigh Valley area is the Emmaus Farmer’s Market. Open 10AM to 2PM every Sunday from May to November, the Emmaus Farmer’s Market brings a diverse collection of vendors together to make a melting pot of all foods local, fresh, and organic. The Emmaus Farmer’s Market was established in 2003 and since then it has grown to an event, hosting 28 unique vendors, that the community looks forward to every week.
The market offers a wide diversity of products from baked goods to wine to colorful produce, so you are sure to find something to rave about. Upon walking into the market, you are greeted by a large stand with rows and rows of breads and treats. This stand, The Flour Shop, uses natural, fresh ingredients to create their variety of products including tasty, gluten-free bread.
As you continue to walk along the rows of vendors, you come across a stand behind a line of coolers preserving all kinds of different meats. Purchasing meat from a farmer’s market can be a smart choice when comparing to grocery store bought meat. When purchasing meat from a grocery store, unless certified organic and all natural, the product can often times be coated with preservatives and the animal could have been raised with all sorts of antibiotics, hormones, and so on. When you buy local, from a farmer’s market, you know exactly where the product is coming from and what is in it, which somehow really helps the food to taste so much better. Two vendors at the market that produce and sell meat are Backyard Bison and Breakaway Farms. Backyard Bison raises their bison without hormones, antibiotics, or commercial feed on a family owned farm only 11 miles from the market. Interestingly, Backyard Bison takes into consideration the Native American tradition of respecting the buffalo and not wasting a single part of the animal, so they also sell hide and other related products.
Walking through the market, you notice all kinds of dairy products like cheeses, fresh milk, and eggs. One of the vendors selling these foods is Dove Song Dairy. Dove Song Dairy is a family owned and run farm in Berks County. Being that this 85 acre farm is home to 250 goats, and other animals, some products they sell are goat milk, goat cheese (low FODMAP friendly), aged cheeses, yogurt, milk soaps, and more.
When looking at large, mass-producing factories, the animals are not always treated with care. The Ironstone Creamery makes sure that their animals are raised humanely with without hormones, antibiotics, and grains containing GMOs.
Looking to sweeten some tea? Honey is a tasty, natural way to sweeten some of your favorite foods and drinks. Keep in mind though, not all honey is produced the same. You can really taste the difference between real natural honey and processed, commercial honey. Schocharie Ridge Orchard and Apiary and Stagecoach Orchard Apiary offer local and raw honey that make the difference. Following a low FODMAP diet and avoiding honey? The Ridge Valley Farm stand sells 100% pure maple syrup!
Now we’re getting to the best part, the produce. Many stands in the market displayed colorful arrangements of fruits and vegetables, making it hard to resist not buying something. However, the prices are all so affordable that it won’t necessarily burn a whole in your wallet if you do decide to splurge. Some vendors offering enticing fruits and veggies are Hausman Fruit Farm, Lettuce Alone Farm, North Star Orchard, Teprovich Farm, and Wild Fox Farms. Most of these farms grow their produce without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or GMOs. They’re main focus is on providing the community with real food.
In addition to selling all kinds of tasty foods, the farmer’s market also has all kinds activities for the family. They often times have live music and this day they had the Wildlands Conservancy come in to bring animals, like turtles and hawks, for the kids.
The mentioned attractions and vendors are just some of the great variety provided by the Emmaus Farmer’s Market. Is the Emmaus Farmer’s Market too much of a commute from your area? No worries, there are tons of farmer’s markets all around, waiting for you to discover them! The most important thing to remember is to keep it fresh, local, and organic.