The Wyoming County Cooperative Farmers Market at Keystone Truck Caps & Accessories has opened for the season.
The market started up on Saturday, July 20, and stays open through the late summer and fall.
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., customers can find a wide variety of produce from Don’s Orchard in Clarks Summit and Grassy Ridge Farms in Noxen in the store’s parking lot along Route 6.
“As the vegetables get ready, we bring them up here, and we’re here until Thanksgiving,” said Donald Koons from Don’s Orchard, who estimates that the farmers market has been around for about 20 years.
Before moving to Route 6 around 10 years ago, the market was held in the Walmart parking lot.
Apples are the specialty on the Don’s Orchard side.
“We raise apples, and when the apples are ready, we press cider in the fall,” Koons said.
But people can also find corn, tomatoes, squash, melons, peaches, blueberries, onions and cherries with Don’s Orchard.
On the Grassy Ridge side, customers can find similar produce offerings as Don’s Orchard.
“We do all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Our biggest crops are sweet corn and apples, but we also grow peaches and plums, those are another big crop for us, and squash, cucumbers,” said Mark Field of Grassy Ridge Farms. “Later in the season we have cider, pumpkins, winter squash.”
The stand also sells jars of jam, salsa, pickles and relish from Annie’s Country Kitchen in Clarks Summit in addition to local honey from Sickler Apiary in Vernon.
So far, the turnout has been slow, but the farmers behind the market expect this to change soon.
“As more vegetables get ripe, we’ll get more and more customers,” Koons explained.
While the market is essentially covered with produce offerings, Field said he’s open to accepting other areas such as baked goods.
Those who are interested in joining the Cooperative Farmers Market should contact him at 570-240-3663.
As the operator of a small, local farm, Koons said participating in the farmers market has been quite beneficial.
“It’s another outlet for us,” he said.
Likewise, Koons believes the public benefits from knowing where their food comes from, and senior citizens can also utilize vouchers from the state.
“Senior citizens get $5 vouchers and we accept them here at the market,” Koons said. “They can’t use them at the store.”
Both Koons and Field run stands at their respective farms as well, but the farmers market can be more convenient for some customers.
“This is more of a central location. There’s a lot of traffic right here and it gives us a lot of exposure to customers in that direction,” Field said.
Those behind the Cooperative Farmers Market appreciate Keystone Caps allowing them to use the space, as well as their loyal customers for coming out each season.
“We do appreciate all the customers coming in,” Field said. “We have very nice people coming along. People know us by name and we appreciate all their business.”