by June Portnoy
Nestled in the heart of Wrightstown is the largest producer-only farmers market in Bucks County.
On May 6th, the Wrightstown Farmers Market will kick off its 11th season after a successful winter market. The Wrightstown Farmers Market provides a thriving outlet where people have access to locally grown food, helping local farmers and producers of fresh food products thrive, which is part of its mission to strengthen the community and the local farming economy.
“Farmers come to this market to sell their products, which gives you the opportunity to meet the people growing your food and learn how they are growing it,” explains Market Manager, Cheryl Gilmore. “This helps create a real sense of community.”
All vendors use sustainable organic growing practices, meaning you are buying fresh locally grown produce without pesticides and, naturally-raised, pastured animal products grown without hormones or antibiotics.
For the first time, this year the Wrightstown Farmers Market moved inside during its winter season that runs from December through April. Its indoor area is located at the Barn at The Gathering at 2324 Second Street Pike.
“Our move to an indoor winter location has been a great success,” says Cheryl. “We have 30 vendors selling a wide variety of products in a beautiful cozy environment on the first floor of a restored barn.
“People love that we are now indoors, and we have had more vendors and customers this year than in previous years when we were outside.”
This indoor winter market runs the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10:00am to noon. Don’t miss the last month of the market’s winter season on April 8th and April 22nd.
The Market will waste no time jumping into its spring/regular season, which runs every Saturday, 9:00am – 1:00pm (rain or shine), from May through November 18th. The regular season market is located at 2203 Second Street Pike, next to the Wrightstown Municipal Building.
“This is truly a seasonal market that sells a wide variety of produce depending on the time of year,” explains Cheryl. “Each season has its favorites and part of the draw for customers is seeing the produce change as we go through the year. We try to focus on the produce that is unique to each season. For example in the late summer we have a tomato tasting festival that features over a dozen varieties of tomatoes, and in the fall we have an apple festival.”
There is something for everyone’s unique taste buds, such as grass fed beef; pasture-raised poultry, lamb, pork and eggs; organic yogurts and cheeses; homemade baked goods; organically grown and locally roasted coffee; raw local honey; mushrooms; and even dog treats, plus much, much more!
Due to new rules made by the Liquor Control Board, the market can now sell local craft beers and spirits at the Market.
According to Cheryl, an average of 650 people shop at the Market each Saturday. She adds, “We have a core group of people who come here to do their weekly shopping, listen to live music and socialize. As a result, the Market has a warm, friendly atmosphere and has become something more than just where people do their shopping.”
In addition to the familiar faces, there are always new faces each week as well. The Wrightstown Farmers Market is a lot more than just vendors. It’s a place where families and friends come together to enjoy live music, kid’s activities and special events.
The first two Saturdays the spring market is open, they will offer free nasturtium and veggie plant giveaways, on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In celebration of Mother’s Day on May 13th, kids can enjoy creating a Mother’s Day craft and other fun activities.
Each year the Market hosts pollinator programs, during which time kids learn the importance of monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
On May 20th, Lulu’s Rescue will hold a dog adoption day. Also, Eco-Man, award-winning singer and songwriter from Bucks County will perform environmentally friendly music for the whole family.
June 24th is “Every day is Earth Day,” where the focus will be on promoting clean energy.
July 1st is Dairy Day. Children and adults will be invited to build a huge ice cream sundae with the Bucks County Dairy Promotion Princess in the middle of the Market. Cheese tastings will also be available.
On July 22nd, Kim Kurki, author of “World of Birds,” will explain the importance of birds to kids. Also, that day a beekeeper will bring an observation hive for children to watch bees in their hives.
August 12th is Zucchini Race Day, a new event for the whole family. Kids will race cars made from Zucchinis and win prizes. Many chef demonstrations are also being planned to highlight how local, seasonal produce can be used in cooking.
The Wrightstown Farmers Market was founded by the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance in 2006.
To find out about more upcoming events, sign up for a weekly newsletter on their website at www.wrightstownfarmersmarket.org or on their Facebook page.