By Michael Buck and Michelle Pittman
Get your fix of fresh, local food this weekend. The Easton Farmers’ Market opens Saturday and will feature a full slate of vendors and an easier-than-ever way to pay.
For the first time, customers will be able to use debit or Pennsylvania Access cards to make purchases at the market, according to Market Manager Megan McBride. Shoppers can use either form of payment to purchase tokens, valued at $5, that are good for purchases throughout the market. The market will also have every vendor stall filled–that’s 28, count ’em–for the first time in decades. The Express-Times previewed the opening in greater detail several days ago.
This year’s market also features new vendors, including Beechwood Orchards, a family-run fruit farm that hails from Biglerville, Pa., just north of Gettysburg. McBride discovered the orchards last fall during a scouting trip and approached them about selling in Easton, where fruit has been in short supply in years past. The orchard signed on in March.
But fruit lovers will have to wait awhile to get their fix from the farmers market — Beechwood Orchards won’t be making an appearance on opening day. Owner and operator Dave Garretson said his farm’s strawberries, the first fruit to come in for the season, aren’t quite ready.
But Garretson is excited to join the market and should have berries for sale by mid-May. After that, expect to see plenty of fruits, like peaches, apples and plums.
Howard Klein, owner of Hidden Splendor Farm in Lower Mount Bethel Township, will be bringing lettuce mixes, arugula, rhubarb and other leafy greens to the market starting this week. Klein’s veggies are organic, grown from seed following organic farming practices, though they are not certified by the USDA.
Klein said he might also have spinach available that has wintered over from last fall. Load up on local greens and try Feaston’s spinach pesto pasta.
If you want to do some shopping and help out at the market, McBride said she is always looking for volunteers. Anyone who is interested can call her at 610-330-9942.