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2013 Pennsylvania Farmers and Public Markets

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Since the content tends to overlap, I'll be posting items about both the Reading Terminal Market and farmers markets I visit in this new topic.

First up:

Livengoods Quit City Markets

The Livengood Family Farm won't be selling their produce within Philadelphia's city limits this season.

The Livengoods -- Earl and Joyce and their son Dwain -- were mainstays at Reading Terminal Market's Center Court until 2010. At that time they continued to sell their certified organic produce at the South & Passyunk, Fairmount and Clark Park farmers markets until this year. Now they're limiting their presence to the Bala Cynwyd and East Goshen markets on Thursdays, and the Saturday markets at Artisans Exchange in West Chester, Upper Merion, and Bryn Mawr.

Dwain Livengood hopes to continue at the Saturday Clark Park winter after Thanksgiving.

The South & Passyunk market, by the way, has switched from Tuesdays to Saturdays. It's the oldest of the current farmers markets in the city.

Sumer Is Icumen In

If you're into English medieval music, you'll recognize the title Sumer Is Icumen In as a little ditty probably dating to about 1260. You might even recall Alan Hale's Little John whistling it in the 1983 Errol Flynn classic Robin Hood.

Translated from Middle English it pretty much means what you think: Summer Has Arrived. Nowhere can that be seen more clearly that at local markets.

The produce of spring -- strawberries, asparagus -- are still around but fading fast. Instead, cherries made their first local appearance this past week, with more to come over the next few weeks. Jersey blueberries will be plentiful soon, and it won't be long until we see apricots, raspberries and other summer sweet fruits.

Some photos are attached to this post

Farmer Bowes Leaves Reading Terminal

Steve Bowes, the organic farmer who occupied space in the piano court for the past few years, has left the Reading Terminal Market. Instead he's concentrating on wholesaling to local restaurants and his Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Among his wholesale customers, and headquarters for his CSA in Philadelphia, is Russet Restaurant on Spruce Street.

Bowes started out at the market three years ago when it briefly, and unsuccessfully, partnered with Farm to City to operate a traditional farmers' market across 12th Street. After that effort failed, Bowes elected to sell directly inside the market, using day tables set up in the piano court opposite Metropolitan Bakery. Bowes filled a gap in the market's offerings when Livengood Family left center court.

Paul Steinke, general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, said there's no active search for a replacement. Instead, market shoppers will have to rely on local produce sold by eisting produce vendors:

  • Fair Food Farmstand sells the widest variety of local produce, from some of the same growers who populate the city's farmers' markets, as well as items from coops.
  • Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, operated by Benuel Kauffman, gets most of his fruits and vegetables from the Leola Produce Auction or his neighbors, though some items occasionally come from his wife's garden.
  • L. Halteman Family primarily sells meats, but also offers seasonal local produce, frequently at the best prices you'll see.
  • Iovine Brothers Produce has been displaying local produce prominently in recent years. Most of the local items are vegetables, particularly greens from larger growers in Maryland and South Jersey, but they also work with smaller farmers like Shady Brook in Bucks County, which supplies corn in addition to other items.
  • OK Lee will feature local produce, though not as extensively as Iovine's.




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