SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Having a local farmers market where residents can buy produce and other goods that were grown and made right in the Abingtons has many benefits, both for the shoppers and farmers.
But those benefits which stand out most to vendors at the Abington Farmers Market, opening for the season this Saturday, July 16 at South Abington Park, is the community interaction it initiates.
“Our customers are absolutely phenomenal,” said Joan Jaditz, of Timber Lane Farms, Newton Township. “I can hardly wait to see them. …That time when we interact, and I get to learn about their families…It’s that human to human contact that builds community.”
Ken Ayers, of Ayers’ Orchard, Ransom Township, agrees.
“A lot of the people like to come and talk to the people who grow and produce the food,” he said.
Michelle LaCoe, of Bald Mountain Orchard, Ransom Township, expressed her enjoyment of being out in the community during the market season.
“In the Abington community itself, there are wonderful people,” she said, adding although she and her husband have been farming for 18 or 19 years now, they sold their produce wholesale for the first several years before going to market. “They’ve been nothing but supportive since the first time we went to market – very kind and open-minded people. They love the idea that we’re local farmers. And I’m a people person, so I really love all of our customers.”
Other vendors include Beta Bread, Graves Family Farm and a maple syrup stand. Products offered vary throughout the seasons and include everything from vegetables, to baked goods, to flowers.
According to LaCoe, Bald Mountain Orchard offers corn, several varieties of tomatoes and peppers, fresh-cut flowers, fruits and berries, herbs, potatoes and squashes, to name just a small portion of the list.
Timber Lane Farms’ offerings, according Jaditz, include a “myriad of vegetables to suit everyone’s needs.”
“We’re niche growers to fill in the needs of people,” she said. “Yes, we grow cucumbers, but when we grow cucumbers, we grow pickling cucumbers, nice big cucumbers, and then really huge cucumbers.”
Ayers offers “all kinds of tree fruits,” apple cider and more. He said one of the best parts about the market for the buyer is the variety.
“There’s baked goods and cookies and jellies and just about anything you’d want to get,” he said. “There’s only six members, but the only thing we’re lacking is meat.”
“The vendors each bring something uniquely special and warm,” said Jaditz. “They believe in what they’re doing. …I have a respect for them and each of their individual talents.”
The market is open, rain or shine, from from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 29 at South Abington Park. For more information, call Michelle LaCoe at 570-586-7952.