Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Week of June 22 & 25

Kids' Day is coming!  Bring the whole family out Saturday for a morning of fun for all ages!  Read
on for more details about some of the activities we have planned.

Last week, we enjoyed music from Texas Ted and Jenna Vendetta, featuring Doc Pober, and Kathy Tangren sold beautiful hand-woven rugs in the artisan tent!

We are getting into the regular market groove and are so excited about our vendors and amazing customers this season!  We so appreciate everyone who comes out to shop the market.  Some of our vendors have even been selling out by the end of the market, but have no fear - you can expect even more variety and quantity of produce as the season goes on.  The best is yet to come!!

This week, we are also highlighting one of our new vendors this season - Lone Oak Farm.  Lone Oak has been run by the Simpson family in Marion Center for four generations!  Stop by and say hello!

Next week is going to be a big one!  We hope you will join us for our regular Wednesday market and then come check out the fun of Kids' Day on Saturday.  All of our special tents will be filled with activities for kids of all ages, and some of our vendors will be participating, as well.  Here is just some of what you can look forward to:

Artisan Tent:  Indiana Women's Flag Football League - face painting
Community Tent: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - SNAP Outreach - food group matching game and coloring sheets
Kids' Tent:  Indiana Community Garden - garden-themed rock painting
Musician Tent:  Indiana Free Library - instruments and songs

Sharing the farmers' market with your kids can have many benefits, including opportunity for conversation and learning about where our food comes from, how it is grown, and what goes into making a meal.  It's also a great way for kids to experience first-hand the seasons of foods, learn to identify a wide variety of fruits and veggies, and try something new!

Need a little help getting started?  Here are some helpful tips to shopping the market with children.

The Indiana Women's Flag Football League was established in 2015 and has expanded to 6 teams for it's second season.  It is a non-contact flag football league open to all women ages 21 and up.

The Indiana Community Gardens are located in Mack Park and bring a wide range of benefits to many people while promoting health, education, enjoyment, and a sense of community.

The mission of the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger.

The Indiana Free Library offers programs for children of all ages throughout the year, providing a fun environment to teach early literacy skills through books, songs, hand rhymes, and crafts.  Summer programs emphasizing exercise and healthy eating are happening now through July 28th.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week of June 15 & 18

This week marked the opening of our Wednesday market, and a little wind couldn't keep our shoppers away!  We also welcomed another new vendor this week - Fat Radish Farm of Commodore.  Mahnoning Creek Farm, Peterson Produce, and the Country Bread Barn returned for the first time this season, as well.  Remember to check out our "About the Farmers/Vendors" page to learn more about all of our vendors.

Thank you to the Food Co-op of Indiana, PA for helping lead the discussion about increasing access to local foods in our community and to Christian and Taylor for creating adding even more fun to the market atmosphere with their music!

Next week, we are happy to have IRMC join our Wednesday market with free health screenings.  They will alternate weeks throughout the season with Beacon Ridge, who have provided blood pressure screenings at past markets.  What better way to improve your health than with some fresh market air and delicious, local fruits and veggies?

Saturday, our artisan tent will be occupied by Kathy Tangren and her beautiful handmade rugs.

Most weeks this season, we will highlight one of our vendors.  One of the greatest things about shopping at your local farmers' market is getting to know the people who grow and produce your food, so these spotlights will provide just a little extra information to get you started!

Save the Date:  Kids' Day is coming up in two weeks on, Saturday, June 25th!  Our special tents will be filled with fun activities for all ages, including gardening and music activities and free face painting!  Bring the whole family!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week of June 8 & 12

Big thanks to everyone who came out to our opening day last Saturday! We had a good turnout, a nice breeze, and a lot of fun!

Did you know...
  • We have 19 registered vendors this season!  Most will be there each week, but we also "mini-members" who will sell at the market for 5 weeks throughout the season.  We'll let you know when to expect them!
  • We are welcoming 7 new vendors to the market this year
  • Our opening market offered more than 45 different items for sale, including produce, bath and body products, potted plants, baked goods, and more!
While we are off to a great start, the best is yet to come!  As the weeks go by, we will welcome more vendors and there will be a greater variety (and more quantity) of produce for sale.  Come out and see what's new each week!

Last week, some highlights were lots of lettuce and other greens, fresh, juicy strawberries, beautiful wildflowers and cut flowers, and goat's milk soap.  We also enjoyed handmade jewelry by Chere Winnek-Shawer of CWS Design Studio, music by Dan Stonerook, yoga with Ed Stancombe of Sunflower Yoga, and learned about hosting international exchange students through the Council for Educational Travel (CETUSA).

This week, we are looking forward to our first Wednesday  market of the season, from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Wayne Avenue in the large parking lot across from the KCAC.  

Special tents for the Saturday market include music from Christian & Taylor and information on the Food Co-op of Indiana County.  

The Food Co-op of Indiana County is a group dedicated to increasing access to healthy, locally grown and produced food and supporting local and regional food producers and growers.  

We may still have a few cool evenings ahead, and soup sure tastes great on a rainy day.  Why not try some Kohlrabi Soup?  Recipe courtesy of Stanley from Uncle Henry's Garden.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2016 Opening Day!

It’s almost here!  Opening day of the Indiana County Farmers’ Market is Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the parking lot behind S&T Bank, at 8th and Church in downtown Indiana.  We are excited to see many returning vendors, familiar faces, and some new vendors, too!  

We welcome Lone Oak FarmFat Radish FarmUncle Henry’s GardenStutzman Farms, Longview Farm and Apiary, and Back to the Roots Farm this season.  A full list of market vendors is available on our vendor page.

Look for a variety of fresh, local items, including asparagus, rhubarb, greens like lettuce and kale, root veggies such as radishes, carrots, and beets, strawberries, and herbs.  Round out your shopping trip with baked goods, honey, and locally-raised meats!

Wondering when your favorites will be in season?  You can find a chart of popular PA vegetables here.

We also have lots of fun scheduled in our special tents this week:
·         Musician:  Dan Stonerook – “unique blend of classic rock, folk and blues”
·         Artisan:  Chere Winnek-Shawer – jewelry
·         Kids’:  Yoga with Ed Stancome of Sunflower Yoga – there are many potential benefits of yoga for children, including improved self-esteem, concentration, and physical fitness.  Adults welcome, too!
·         Community:  Council for Educational Travel (CETUSA) -  A not-for-profit international student exchange organization coordinating exchange experiences for high school students in Indiana County, with a mission “to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding” for the students, host families and communities that are part of the exchange experience. CETUSA is a U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) sponsor organization.

Please remember that while we at the Farmers’ Market are very fond of pets of all kinds, due to PA Department of Agriculture regulations, no pets are permitted at the market.  If you do bring a pet, please tie them up outside the market.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Bring the whole family for a morning of fresh, local foods, community, and fun! 

See you at the market!

New to the farmers’ market, or looking for ways to make the most of your trip?  Check out some top shopping tips here.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Preparing for the 2016 Market Season

Happy Spring!  Opening day for the 2016 market season is Saturday, June 4th – less than three weeks away!   We are continuing to receive vendor applications, schedule special tents and events, and prepare for a great season. 

12 vendors have already registered, including 4 new vendors, and we are expecting even more before opening day.  If you know anyone who is interested in selling at the market, applications are available on the “Become a Vendor” page on our website.  We are offering a new 5-week membership option for vendors this year, so if you have been thinking of trying it out, now is the time!  Applications must be postmarked by May 20 to reserve a spot. 

Special tents are also being scheduled for Saturday markets from June 4th through the end of September.  We are looking for acoustic musicians, artisans, and kids’ and community groups to help add to the atmosphere and experience of the market.  Do you or someone you know have a talent to share?  Contact Jenna at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com to schedule a date.

We are also looking forward to some special events this season, including:

Opening Day – June 4
Kids’ Day – June 25
Customer Appreciation Day – July 30
Health and Wellness Day – September 17

We hope you are getting as excited about the upcoming market season as we are, and if you need a little extra inspiration, check out this article on great reasons to shop at a farmers’ market.  

Remember to like us on Facebook for more updates and resources.

See you at the Market!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Community Farmers' Market Meeting

Hello!  Spring is here, and opening day of the farmers' market is just over a month away!  That means it is time for our pre-season community farmers' market meeting.  Vendors as well as interested community members are invited to attend and discuss the coming market season.

Wednesday, April 27th
6:30 p.m.
Pavilion at Getty Heights Park, Indiana

More updates and market information are on the way as we approach the start of our 2016 season.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guest Farm Blogger: Mahoning Creek Farm

For Love of Food

One or two generations ago, many more Americans had a close personal connection to agriculture. Even if you didn’t live on a farm yourself, chances were you knew a farmer, maybe from visiting your grandparents’ farm, or knowing a neighbor or friend who was a farmer. People felt more of a connection to farming, and they were also more likely to grow, preserve, and cook their own food. Then the baby boom generation came of age and both parents went to work, creating a demand in the American food chain for convenient, cost-effective access to food. Farmers responded by embracing technology and specialization (focusing on raising one crop or species of livestock rather than raising many different types of produce and livestock on the same farm). As a result, farm productivity advanced rapidly, and food became more uniform, consistent, and affordable. Restaurant and grocery chains capitalized on this, finding a ready market in American families that were strapped for both cash and time. This system works well.

But it’s not perfect. Food gets recalled. Fast food restaurants are shut down for food-borne illness outbreaks. Animal abuse videos are released. We hear that our children are expected to die sooner than we will as result of obesity. Conflicting studies are published regarding the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO’s). New diets suggest that people should avoid eating certain fats, sugars, carbohydrates, dairy, gluten, etc.(leaving us to wonder what exactly are we supposed to eat?). And the message consumers are hearing is this: “Food is unsafe. You don’t know what’s really in it. You don’t know how it’s made. You can’t know whether it’s healthy for your family or not.” Many consumers are afraid of food. And as a farmer, this breaks my heart. Because I love food. I love growing it, and sharing it with you. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a good harvest, and the anticipation of planning for the next growing season. I love learning how to best work with the land, but always being forced to respect the forces of nature that are out of my control. I love doing this with my family. And increasingly, I’m coming to see you, our neighbors and customers, as our family. We couldn’t do this without you, and I’m proud of the community that we’re building together. 

That being said, I hope we can agree on one thing; there is no place for fear in our community. We are a community built on a passion for good, nutritious, and delicious food, in addition to our love for each other. We believe these two things complement and edify one another. If we have questions or concerns about our food, we ask (with the confidence that we can speak directly to our farmers). Our conversations regarding food are honest, but always respectful. We don’t need to tear each other down or attack other farmers or farming practices because they do things differently from us. We appreciate the farmers for their hard work to bring food to market, and the consumers for choosing to support local farms with their tightly-stretched dollars. We utilize food to sustain ourselves and our families, create memories, unify our town, lift up those in need and support our local economy. We love good food, but we recognize that the Indiana County Farmers’ Market is about way more than food. It’s about building a community who loves food and loves each other. Will you join us?

Morgan Livingston is a 5th generation farmer from Mahoning Creek Farm just outside Smicksburg, PA. Her parents, Bob & Darlene Livingston, raise pigs, sheep, cattle, and chickens, and sell their locally raised meats at the Indiana County Farmers’ Market and at their on-farm roadside stand. You will occasionally see Morgan helping with the MCF stand at the Farmers’ Market throughout the season. Morgan lives in Red Lion, PA, where she is pursuing her Master’s of Social Work at Millersville University and working as a Social Worker in York.