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Boalsburg Farmers Market Allows Locals to Buy Fresh Produce

by on June 11, 2014 1:50 PM

Local shoppers don’t need to go to the grocery store to find a wide variety of food.

Every Tuesday at the Boalsburg Farmers Market, there’s everything from strawberries to meats to cookies for sale. 

Each week, representatives from local farms set up tables from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Military Museum to sell their fresh produce. About 100 people came on Tuesday to browse the selections, engage with members of the community and enjoy a sunny June day. Much to the delight of the children present, Anne Brooks, owner of ABB Bison Farm, even brought Bentley the Bison -- a real live Bison.

The farmers market is a community event that helps people like Lexie Orr feel more connected with the Boalsburg area. Orr, 26, moved to Centre County last April after she graduated from Bucknell University.  She now works for Store Meadow Farm and comes to the Boalsburg Farmers Market every week.

Orr sells raw milk cheeses, beef and veal and says she enjoys talking to residents and likes that the farmers market brings people together. She sees some of the same people week after week.

“I do most of my grocery shopping here,” Orr says. “It’s really fun getting to barter with people until you both agree on a price. You can’t do that at a regular store.”

The highlight for most of the children present was the cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. About a dozen students from Corl Street Elementary School attended the “learning kitchen” cooking class, hosted by Tony Sapia, owner of Gemelli Bakers.

Sapia, along with local chef Anne Quinn Corr and Penn State nutrition students, showed children how to make a vinaigrette salad dressing, pizza pie, salsa and chocolate covered strawberries. Children watched in delight -- the anticipation building before they could try the recipes.

The learning kitchech is part of a broader effort by the Boalsburg Farmers Market to make children more aware of the importance of healthy foods that's available from local vendors. Farmers have also spoken to children at their schools about healthy eating, Sapia says.

Sapia's goal is to show children how to make simple dishes using ingredients found at the farmers market. There have been cooking demonstrations at the market for the past three years.

“The farmers market is where kids can learn how to buy and eat healthy,” Sapia says. “We’re teaching them at a young age how to shop.”

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Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to StateCollege.com and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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