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Farmers' Markets: The Fresher Way to Go

As summertime arrives, it brings along the roadside stands and farmer’s markets.

Most of us purchase our produce at the grocery store, especially in the winter months. But now that summer is almost here, we can visit the roadside stands throughout Upper Milford Township and the neighboring communities as they slowly begin to pop up. 

We can also check out the farmer’s markets in the area. is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at the township building. The is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays at the KNBT parking lot. And the Macungie Farmer’s Market is open 4-7 p.m. Thursdays at the Macungie Memorial Park.

What do you look forward to buying at the farmers' market each summer?

If you have never purchased fruits and vegetables at a roadside stand or farmers' market, let this be the year you do. They taste so much better than produce from the store; and the food is locally grown—not transported in from California. 

Luscious, red strawberries, juicy apples and peaches, fresh-picked corn-on-the-cob, plump tomatoes and freshly squeezed cider are just a taste of what can purchased at these places.

My father had a roadside stand until just a few years ago. He would sell sour cherries, apples, raspberries, peaches, strawberries, string beans and tomatoes.  Sometimes you could find flower bulbs for sale when it was time to thin the plants.

I started my own vegetable garden at about the age of 13, when I was a member of the Macungie 4-H Club. When I married and eventually moved to Upper Milford, my husband dug a plot for me to continue planting vegetables.  Every year we enjoyed fresh peas, onions, beans, corn, tomatoes, carrots and sometimes cucumbers. 

On our property, we once had seven fruit trees – two apple, three peach and two sour cherry. We also had several raspberry bushes. Our boys loved to pick the fruit from the trees and bushes when they were playing outside and got hungry--even the sour cherries. 

The garden is gone now, as well as the peach trees and cherry trees. The apple trees still stand, feeding the deer, but they, too, will soon be cut down. We have planted two new apple trees that should produce fruit within the next couple of years to take their place.

I began purchasing my fruits and vegetables in the store, but they taste nothing like home-grown. Thankfully, when summer arrives, I can start to patronize the farmer’s markets and roadside stands.

And you can purchase more than just fruits and vegetables at some locations.  Buffalo meat, honey, eggs, homemade baked beans, homemade jams and jellies, herbs, flowers, homemade pickles, homemade baked goods, and more can be found.

So be sure to stop at the roadside stands and farmers' markets this year. Most will be open until October or November. You won’t be sorry. You may even be pleasantly surprised at how much better the produce tastes.

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