Monday, July 24, 2017

Customer Appreciation Day July 29th!

We love our customers (that's you)!!  

Without shoppers who visit us weekly throughout the season and support our local farmers and producers, we wouldn't have a market.  That's why each year we set aside one special Saturday to celebrate YOU!

Customer Appreciation Day is a time to celebrate our market and the people who help to make it what it is.  Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled morning!

The big day is finally here, and it will be everything you've come to expect, including:

Some of our vendors will join in the spirit of the day with special promotions and sampling in their booths, as well.  Those planned so far are:
  • Free bulb of garlic with a purchase of $10 or more - 3 Ponds Farm
  • "Round down" sale - Mahoning Creek Farm
  • Samples of farm-made refrigerator pickles - Mother Earth Farm

Finally, be sure to stop by the Market Information booth for a free chance to win a basket of market products!  While you're there, please fill out our Customer Survey and earn a 2nd entry into the drawing.

This day is really all about you, and you are what makes our market great!  Thank you for your support over the years.  We wouldn't be here without you!

Remember, our Wednesday market is also open this week, and we have been seeing more vendors join us on Wednesday over the past few weeks.  Stop by and see what's new!

Our featured product of the week is so tasty, versatile, and downright beautiful - the TOMATO

Fun Facts:
  • Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, and antioxidant that is good for the heart and helps protect against some cancers.  They are also packed with vitamins A and C and potassium (
  • Cooked tomatoes are actually better for you than raw ones, as more beneficial chemicals are released (
  • Tomatoes are thought to have originated in Peru and were named by the Aztec (
  • According to the USDA, there are now 25,000 varieties of tomatoes.  Other sources cap the number of types at 10,000 (either way, that's a lot!) (
  • As of 2013, the heaviest tomato (according to Guiness World Records) weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was grown in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986.  The grower sliced the tomato to make sandwiches for 21 family members (
You can find many varieties at our market.  Seeing as more than 90% of home gardeners grow tomatoes, it is no surprise that so many of our vendors grow these juicy summer treats, as well.  They are delicious in soups, sauces, salads, roasted, juiced, or eaten just as they are.  

Try out this simple recipe for fresh tomato salsa - you can find almost all of the ingredients at the market!

See you at the market!

We are still scheduling for our special tents through the end of September.  If you are an artist, musician, or are involved with a community organization or kids' group, e-mail us at if you'd like to participate!

Want our weekly blog posts sent straight to your inbox?  E-mail to be added to our mailing list.

CH Fields Craft Kitchen (inside the Hilton Garden Inn) "believes in real food, grown and harvested by the good folks in our community who take care of their land for future generations."

The Indiana Women's Flag Football League, established in 2015, is a non-contact flag football league open to all women ages 21 and up.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week of July 19 & 22

Finally, we had such sunshine for both of our market days last week!  Saturday was gorgeous, and we had a great crowd!  Looking forward to more beautiful weather and busy market days to come.

Last Saturday, we enjoyed art by Ashley Bouton and information from SeniorLIFE Indiana.  We also welcomed two new vendors - The Spades and Wilds Market - and 8 Maples Farm joined us for the first time of the season!

This Saturday, stop by the Artisan Tent to shop handmade bath & body products by Lori Roberts.

This week, we also have a guest blog post!  Some of you may remember Sarayna Schock from our Community Tent a few weeks back.  Sarayna is a third year medical student from Penn State Hershey Medical Center and founder of Penn State ProduceRx.  She has been researching the benefits of healthcare-agriculture partnerships in Central Pennsylvania since 2015.  She was kind enough to share a post with us telling more about what she has learned.  Read on!

...But first...SAVE THE DATE!!

CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY is Saturday, July 29th!  We will have a full lineup of special tents, and a drawing for some of your favorite market goodies!  Bring the whole family for a fun morning at the market!

The Benefits of Healthcare-Agriculture Partnerships
Sarayna Schock

In 2015 when I set out to start a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)-patient partnership at our medical center, I was focused on helping connect patients with quality, nutritious food to benefit their dietary intake and chronic illnesses. It wasn’t until I began working closely with our initial partner farm that I began to consider what the program could potentially mean for local agriculture, local businesses, and the entire community.

I come from a long-line of farmers on my father’s side and healthcare providers on my mother’s side. I’ve come to appreciate that these two necessary sectors do not need to be mutually exclusive. Only 40% of Americans today consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, the recommended amount by US Dietary Guidelines (Guenther et al, 2006; Wilkins et al, 2015). Research has shown that plant-based diets are associated with improved weight management and reduced risk for chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (Estruch et al, 2013; Lock et al, 2005). This equates to decreased healthcare costs for patients, employers, and the government. So why is it that healthcare-agriculture partnerships are so few and far between in our country?

In the past decade, there have been attempts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption amongst patients or underserved ‘food desert’ communities. These efforts have often utilized the ‘prescription-produce’ model in which physicians “prescribe” quality nutrition with the hope that patients will view the prescription with as much importance as they would a script for a statin to treat hypercholesterolemia. Past interventions have ranged from adding fruits to clinic offices to providing purchasing vouchers to grocery stores and local farmer’s markets (Buyuktuncer et al, 2014; Cavanagh et al, 2016; Quandt et al, 2013). Some of these interventions have even included one-on-one nutrition education or mentoring to individuals newly introduced to produce. However little has been done to link patients with Community Supported Agriculture.

Unlike grocery stores and farmer’s markets that patients must travel to, some located far from a patient’s residence, CSA programs often have pre-existing delivery sites throughout a specific region for participants to chose from. CSA links consumers with local farmers directly, allowing for patients to have an intimate connection with where their food is coming from and the farmers supplying it to them. These programs often include Open Farm Days or “Pick Your Own” opportunities, allowing participants the opportunity to develop an even deeper connection to the land their food is harvested from, as well as an appreciation for the work that goes into supplying the contents of their weekly boxes. For patients who have never seen an eggplant or kohlrabi before, receiving these items in their weekly box along with recipe ideas encourages utilization of produce that would have otherwise been skipped over at the grocery store.

Our partnership model also benefits the local economy. Partner farms benefit from the increased CSA share purchases, even while they offer the boxes at a small bulk discount to our patients. The program’s Facebook page and website serve as free marketing for the farms, as do the media opportunities the program sees due to it’s novel approach. Nearly all of our partner farms sell at local markets, allowing for additional purchases by participants, especially those closer to the markets and/or more willing to drive the extra distance after experiencing the quality of local agriculture. The farm’s participation in the program may also be seen favorably by non-program CSA members and thus encourage new non-program subscriptions and subscription renewals in this way. With new box drop-off sites being offered at local businesses and farmers markets this year, we anticipate increased profits for these local vendors as the box pick-up is bringing in new visitors to these locations. Similar to our partner farms, we also feature our partner markets and businesses online to increase marketing for them. These new connections between patients, local farms, and local businesses increase community-connectedness. In our pilot year, our initial partner farm cited receiving moving personal stories of gratitude and appreciation directly from program patients.

I believe the ProduceRx program model is easily replicable at other health systems across the country. I have found nearly all local farmers are enthusiastic about potential partnership in such a model as most entered farming to benefit the health of others while providing quality agricultural products to the community. In my experience it takes initiative from somewhere inside a health system to start such a program, as this is where the knowledge of “chain of command” is essential to move such a program proposal through the necessary channels to get approval and most importantly, support. I would encourage Indiana Regional Medical Center to make contact with local farms, three of whom have already expressed interest in participating in such a program, to address the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment’s identification of “obesity and overweight” as a major health problem and “healthy eating” as a top priority in the region (IRMC, 2015).

Sarayna Schock is a medical student at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania and founder of Penn State ProduceRx ( She is a former Certified Pharmacy Technician and veteran of the United States Air Force. Sarayna earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies from American Military University. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and gardening in her free time.

Buyuktuncer Z, Kearney M, Ryan CL, et al. Fruit and vegetables on prescription: a brief intervention in primary care.
J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014;27(Suppl. 2),186–193.

Cavanagh M, Jurkowski J, Bozlak C, et al. VegieRx: an outcome evaluation of a healthy food incentive programme. Public Health Nutr. 2016; doi: 10.1017/S1368980016002081.

Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvado J, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. NEJM. 2013; doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200303

Guenther PM, Dodd KW, Reedy J et al. Most Americans eat much less than recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106:1371-1379.

Indiana Regional Medical Center. Indiana Regional Medical Center Community Health Needs Assessment. 2015; Accessed May 2017.

Lock K, Pomerleau J, Causer L, et al. The global burden of disease attributable to low consumption of fruit and vegetables: implications for the global strategy on diet. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2005;83:100-108.

Quandt SA, Dupuis J, Fish C, et al. Feasibility of using a community-supported agriculture program to improve fruit and vegetable inventories and consumption in an underresourced urban community. Prev Chronic Dis. 2013;10:130053.

Wilkins JL, Farrell TJ, Rangarajan A. Linking vegetable preferences, health and local food systems through community-supported agriculture. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(13):2392-2401.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week of July 12 & 15

 Last Saturday, we welcomed photographer Jenna Jusko to the Artisan Tent and learned more about the Summer Food Service Program in the Community Tent.

The Summer Food Service Program is a national program of the USDA that provides FREE  meals to kids during the summer months with help from local partners.  Our local Summer Food Program is at the Mack Park Concessions Stand Monday through Friday from 11-12, now through August 18th.

This week, we continue to see more and more variety in produce as we move through the summer and toward the peak of growing season.  Painter Ashley Bouton joins us in the Artisan Tent with a creative process she describes as "very expressive, action-oriented, and intuitive."  Our Community Tent will feature information from SeniorLife Indiana about their wide array of senior support services.

We also welcome two new vendors this week - Wilds Market and the Spades.  We look forward to having them as a part of our growing market!

And now to a slightly different (but very exciting) product of the week:

Fun Facts:

  • 76 million Americans eat beef every day.  More beef is consumed on Memorial Day than any other day of the year.  The Fourth of July and Labor Day typically tie for second place (
  • Beef is the number one source of protein, vitamin B12, and zinc.  Beef is also the number 3 source of iron behind fortified cereal and grains (
    • Zinc is an important trace mineral needed for proper functioning of the immune system and for our senses of smell and taste (
    • The protein in beef is a complete, high-quality protein that supplies all of the essential amino acids the body needs to build, maintain, and repair body tissue (
  • The hamburger made its international debut at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.  Ground beef accounts for 40-45% of all beef sold today (
  • The top five most-liked flavors consumers enjoy with beef are onion, garlic, herbs, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon/citrus juice (
  • Today's beef is leaner than ever, and 67% of cuts sold in grocery stores are considered lean.  Find more surprising facts about lean beef and another recipe here.
...which leads us to...our Recipe of the Week

This Grilled Steak Salad is so delicious!  It is a favorite in our house, and you can add in any market-fresh veggies you like.  The recipe calls for lettuce, spinach, radishes, sweet onion, cucumber, and tomato, along with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  Darlene from Mahoning Creek Farm recommends sirloin or chuck eye.  Chip steak is another good option if you aren't cooking on the grill.  Enjoy! 

We are still scheduling for our special tents through the end of September.  If you are an artist, musician, or are involved with a community organization or kids' group, e-mail us at if you'd like to participate!

Want our weekly blog posts sent straight to your inbox?  E-mail to be added to our mailing list.

See you at the market!

SeniorLIFE Indiana offers a wide array of support services to help seniors with personal, physical, and social needs - to maintain health, stimulate interest, and increase socialization.  Available homecare services make it possible for seniors to stay in their home, maintaining both quality of life and their independence.  SeniorLIFE is a Medicare Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) operating as a LIFE (Living Independently for the Elderly) program in the state of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Week of July 5 & 8

The rain sure came down at the end of the Saturday market last week, but it couldn't put a damper on all of the exciting happenings!  We welcomed back Uncle Henry's Garden, enjoyed some delicious Yarnicks' sweet corn, saw the first of Nature Works' farm-grown oyster mushrooms, and shopped for summer favorites like blueberries, zucchini, cucumbers, and more!

Oh...and did I forget to mention our first chef demonstration of the season?  CH Fields Executive Chef Josh Truitt cooked up some amazing creations, including shaved carrot salad with goat cheese and fresh mint, seared sugar snap peas, and grilled flank steak and pork.  Yum!

We also enjoyed musical activities with Music Together in the Kids' Tent and information about water, streams, and watersheds from the Ken Sink chapter of Trout Unlimited.

This Saturday, we are looking forward to paintings by Courtney Scherf in the Artisan Tent and information on the Summer Food Service Program through the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in the Community Tent.

It seems fitting to feature sweet corn as our market product of the week.  Customers wait all winter and spring for that first juicy bite!

Fun Facts:

  • Corn is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family.  This makes it a grain - not technically a vegetable (,
  • An ear of corn is actually a part of the plant's flower
  • Each ear of corn has about 800 kernels in 16 rows and always has an even number of rows on each cob (

Of course, sweet corn is delicious straight off the cob, grilled, steamed or boiled (just don't put salt in your boiling water - it makes the kernels tough!).  However, if you want something a little different, why not try this delicious grilled corn salsa.  You can find many of the ingredients at the market!

We are still scheduling for our special tents through the end of September.  If you are a local artist, musician, or are involved with a community organization or kids' group, e-mail us at if you'd like to participate!

See you at the market!

The Summer Food Service Program is a national program of the USDA that provides FREE meals to kids during the summer months with help from local partners.  Our local Summer Food Program is at the Mack Park Concessions Stand Monday through Friday from 11-12, now through August 18.