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To market, to market the farmers will go

By Mary Therese Biebel

June 18, 2013

The Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market opens for the season tomorrow, and the fresh, tender, just-picked produce is likely to include …

“Strawberries, for sure,” said Jen Broyan from Broyan’s Farm in Nescopeck.

“Lots of flowers, and herbs like mint and thyme,” said Shirley O’Malia from Marty O’Malia’s Greenhouse in Plains Township.

“Mostly greens, like lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard, but also sugar snap peas, and maybe we’ll harvest a little bit of kohlrabi,” said Harold Golomb from Golomb’s Greenhouse in Plains Township.

The weather this spring has been wetter and colder than usual, the farmers noted, and that has delayed some crops by at least a week or so.

“Normal or above-normal temperatures would be great,” Golomb said, explaining what he hopes to see. “Like everybody else we hate those 95-degree days and hot, humid nights, but that’s when you get a lot of growing.”

By next week, Broyan said, she hopes to have broccoli and peas ready for market.

By then, Golomb hopes to have some red beets, too.

In July, he expects to bring his produce not only to the Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market on Public Square on Thursday but to make the rounds of the Pittston and Back Mountain events.

On Tuesdays he’ll have a stand at the Pittston Farmers Market on Broad Street, which most likely will open July 9, and on Saturdays, he’ll go to the Back Mountain Farmers Market, which takes place at the Back Mountain Memorial Library in Dallas and will open July 20.

As more people embrace the idea of buying locally grown food as a healthful and environmentally friendly choice, Farmers Markets are becoming a more popular place to shop.

Convenient for the Mountain Top area, a new one has opened at the Fairview Shopping Plaza on South Main Street in Fairview Township, near Gino’s Shoe Store. Within a few weeks, farmers markets in Hazleton and Scranton will open for the season as well.

The markets are a great opportunity for customers, said Krista Connolly, who regularly shops at the Back Mountain Farmers Market when it is open. “Everything is fresh and in one place at one time. It’s one-stop shopping.”

In addition to vegetables, fruits and berries, other items to look for at farmers markets include eggs, jellies and jams, artisan bread, candies, cookies and cakes and entrees “to go.”





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