Adams County Farmers Market excels in its new location

The Adam’s County Farmers Market, held Saturday mornings at the Gettysburg rec park, is much more than parsley, peaches, and posies. On a recent visit, one could find all types of fresh produce and fruit, of course, plus offerings of fresh flowers, crafts, meats, honey, and mushrooms.

There was also jewelry, games, a live band, tasty food outlets, baked goods, homemade jams, jellies, pickles, and fresh bakery items. Even a parrot named Romeo showed up, although, admittedly, he was on a visitor’s shoulder.

farmers market

This is the first year the market has been located in the Gettysburg Rec Park, after moving from its downtown location, and Farmers Market Board President Kathleen Glahn said sales have improved by 33 percent.

As children played games on the rec park lawn, shoppers gathered to chat, and Littletown’s Heads or Tails Experience played their energetic pop music with plenty of original tunes.

One booth provided information about a York Spring farm where horse-drawn implements help with the planting and cultivating. A Lebanon company offered homemade spirits, and, at another booth, homemade mead and wine were on display.

Few visitors left the site without something fresh for the table or the ride home.

Noting continued growth in the number of vendors and vendor satisfaction, as well as the success of the new location and growth of the market’s food-assistance food programs, Market Manager Reza Djalal said “We are the best market in our region. We are on the nuclear fusion level of farmers market development.”

Djalal said the market season was only half over and a variety of future events are planned, including Civics Day, Kids Day, Young Entrepreneurs Day, Vendor Appreciation Day, a VFW Chicken BBQ Fundraiser, Milkshakes at the Market!, Gettyburg Quilt Guild Demonstration, National Famers Market Week, and many Music at the Market days.

Founded in 2008 to increase farmers’ market vendor services while helping develop food assistance resources for the community, the Adams County Farmers Market has operated an open-air, direct-to-consumer farmers market every year from May through October in historic Gettysburg, PA.

The Healthy Options food program offers educational activities and vouchers for the Adams County Farm Fresh Markets from June through October and at Kennie’s Marketplace from November through April. The program is now overseen by Claudia Agular, hired in April as a part-time coordinator. Piloted in 2011 with 24 families, it has now expanded to 165 families and 75 senior citizens.

Djalal said the market is hoping to create a hard-top structure for the market in the future. “It’s an ongoing, living conversation,” Djalal said, adding that there appears to be a lot of enthusiasm for the idea. He said it could become a reality in three to five years, with potential funding coming from private campaigns, a capital campaign, and grants. “It’s something that would enhance the Gettysburg Rec Park,” he said

In 2020, the Farmers Market received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS due to the number of community-driven programs and initiatives developed over many years, mirroring what farm markets are doing in metro areas. The organization has historically partnered with many other Adams County-based nonprofit organizations to help promote, administer, and expand food assistance resources.

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Judith Cameron Seniura is a freelance reporter. She began her journalism career in the early ‘70s and has written for newspapers, magazines, and other media in Ontario, Canada, Alaska, Michigan, Nebraska, San Antonio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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Charles Stangor
Charles Stangor
8 months ago

Great photo!

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