Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Susquehanna Valley Growers' Market

Every Friday from 2 pm-6 pm the Susquehanna Valley Growers Market is on at Ard's Farm Market from May to October. I had gone to the SVGM at its previous venue, downtown in the parking lot by Huffnagle Park and was unimpressed. Things have definitely been stepped up since the move to Ard's.

There were about 10 stalls to choose from offering breads, cheeses, salsas and sauces, produce, tea, meat, and treats. I tasted raw milk cheese from Stone Meadow Farm. The One-Eyed Pepper Jack was really bitter and I didn't care for it at all, but I love the sharp cheddar and bought some. It cost $5 for 1/2 lb. The young man there was VERY friendly and chatty. He asked me all about all the places I had ever lived and told me about all the jobs he'd ever had. He was also selling walking sticks. On to the fresh flowers and baked goods stall next door.  I bought a gorgeous fudgey brownie for $2.25, it was scrumptious. I wanted to buy all her baked goods, but by this point I was running out of cash.

I moved on to Haole Boy Salsas. The owner is a real character. The names of his salsas were really original and humorous. I purchased Sweet Mustard Chipotle Barbeque Sauce and tasted about 7 different kinds of salsa. He had me hold one of the salsa bottles to prove how fresh it was, he had just bottled it a couple of hours before coming to the market. He claimed to grow 26 different kinds of hot peppers in his garden. Next to the salsa stall was Three Belle Cheese, a goat cheese lover's paradise. I tried a sample of their garlic and herb goat cheese and it was superb. I bought 8 oz. of Honey Pecan and Date goat cheese and have been eating all week. It was $5. Their farm is located 3 miles from Ard's, I'd say that's pretty darn local. My son bought an oatmeal whoopee pie for 90 cents from the Amish guy selling baked goods and produce, it was yummy.

I skipped over the produce stalls, they didn't have much to offer last week, I think because it had been so dry. I smelled all the teas at the tea stall. I talked to Mike from Cow-a-Hen Farm which sells nitrate free hot dogs and everything from goose to pig to duck. He told me that pigs are actually omnivores, not herbivores.

Overall, I thought the prices were reasonable for locally grown, chemical free, minimally processed delicious food. All the vendors were very friendly and willing to talk about how the food they sell is grown or raised. I felt a real connection with everything I bought and enjoyed the fact that the ingredients list on the nitrate free hot dogs ($8/pound) only had 8 ingredients and all of them were recognizable. I will definitely go again, but bring more money next time. Check out their website for seasonal recipes using ingredients sold at the Susquehanna Valley Grower's Market.


This week there will be peaches, plums, eggplant, sweet corn, cucumbers, green beans, ripe tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, Hungarian wax peppers and banana peppers, wheat berries, whole wheat flour, potatoes, multicolored beets, Swiss chard and beet greens, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, farm-fresh eggs, freshly baked artisan breads, sweets and baked goods, dried herbs, blends and teas, pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised veal, farm-fresh pork, raw milk cheeses, fresh goat cheeses, and freshly cut flowers.


LAR Girl said...

Great post!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Your description of the salespeople at the market was awesome.

I can finally post a comment! Not sure why it wasn't working for me the other way...