Monday, April 14, 2014

Keeping Things Fresh: Introducing Our Exciting New Location!

The Gettysburg Heritage Center will be the new home for our Wednesday 
Farmers Market. Picture this spacious lawn decked out with all your 
favorite vendors!

Here at the Adams County Farmers’ Market Association our produce isn’t the only thing that’s fresh – we’re always improving the market experience and creating one that’s better for you! This 2014 season we are relocating the Wednesday Farmers Market to a new downtown location at the newly renovated Gettysburg Heritage Center at 297 Steinwehr Avenue. In response to feedback from our market patrons, we’ve structured the Wednesday market to better accommodate busy schedules. This weekly farmers market will be nestled in the business district of Gettysburg and will be accessible to a wider variety of shoppers.
In order to increase convenience for our working patrons, the Wednesday market will also feature new hours in the afternoon from 2-6 p.m. You’ll have access to all of your favorite vendors on your way out of work. The delicious, healthy fresh options available at our markets are the perfect energizing solution to the mid-week slump that rolls around by Wednesday. This location also offers an ample amount of hassle-free parking, so feel free to drive on by!
The Gettysburg Heritage Center is a fitting home to our weekly market, as historically Adams County is renowned for our premier agricultural production in Pennsylvania. Currently, Adams county is ranked 6th in overall agriculture production in all of Pennsylvania and we have an impressive 174,595 acres of farmland. There’s no better place to celebrate (and enjoy the fruits of) Adams County remarkable agriculture industry than the Gettysburg Heritage Center. Stop by the farmers market on Wednesday May 7 between 2 p.m. -6 p.m. to check out this new location and ring in the new market season!
The new Steinwehr location on Wednesdays is a perfect counterpart to the established Friday and Saturday Farm Fresh Markets at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg. The Friday and Saturday markets will be open from 9:30 a.m. -2 p.m. for your convenience. The Farmers Market season starts at the beginning of May, which is fast approaching!

Mark your calendars with the our 2014 market schedule:
         Wednesday Market on Steinwehr Ave: May 7-October, 2p.m. -6p.m.
         Friday Market at the Gettysburg Outlets: May 9-October, 9:30a.m. -2p.m.
         Saturday Market at the Gettysburg Outlets: May 10-October, 9:30a.m. -2p.m.

As always, our main priority is serving the community and tailoring the farmers market experience to our patrons’ needs. Don’t hesitate to let your voice be heard! Have something to say about our new location? Jazzed about the opening week of the Farmers Market? Share your thoughts with our beginning of the year survey here:

We hope to see you at the market soon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Five Generations of Fruit Growers-Meet Boyer Nurseries and Orchards

It all began in 1900 when a man envisioned selling quality fruit to local farmers.  W.W. Boyer, the visionary behind Boyer Nurseries and Orchards, Inc., started with the idea of giving neighboring farms easy access to many varieties of apple trees for planting in their own orchards.  To this day, Boyer still grows fruit trees for commercial growers and home-owners.  These trees are typically picked-up or shipped in the spring.  The nursery has since been passed down through five generations of the Boyer/Lower family, and has expanded the scale of operations.

Main entrance at 405 Boyer Nursery Road, Biglerville, PA
The Nursery is nestled on about 1800 acres of stony mountain soil in the heart of orchard country against the scenic backdrop of South Mountain.  Concern for the environment has led Boyer to work on preserving the land.  Their property is part of the headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.  The Boyer family will soon complete placing half of their farm in conservation easements through a partnership with the Land Conservancy of Adams County to protect water and natural 

Rural landscape from Boyer Nurseries & Orchards

With nearly 500 acres in fruit production, apples are their largest commodity. Their home farm market is open seasonally beginning with sweet cherries in June and followed by sour cherries, apricots, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, and of course, apples. Most apples support local processor, Knouse Foods Cooperative.

Apple season begins mid-August with varieties continually harvested through the end of October.  Cold storage helps keep apples fresh to supply their farm market through December 23rd.  Boyer offers about 40 different kinds of apples throughout the year and sells them directly from the farm Monday-Saturday 7AM-5PM, Sunday 12PM-5PM, and on location at the Outlet Shoppes in Gettysburg at Friday’s farmers’ market from 9:30AM-2:00PM.  Boyer has been a contributing vendor with the Adams County Farmers’ Market Association for seven years.

Loads of seasonal fresh fruit including over
40 varieties of apples!
The home farm market offers a wide variety of produce, as well as local honey, a variety of fruit spreads, Windy Knoll baked goods & ice cream, pottery, and recipes.

Emma Lower, a member of the fifth generation of the Boyer/Lower family, works at the Nursery and attributes Boyer’s success to its ability to stay diverse and adapt to the economic times. 

In the 1960-1970s her Great-Grandmother created the Garden Center (pictured below) to address the increasing demand of back-yard trees and plants.  Boyer’s Garden Center offers superior customer service to other retailers, and gives customers a more hand-on approach to creating and maintaining their landscapes.  They’ve also recently expanded into professional landscape design and installation.

Boyer's Nurseries offers a wide array of
trees, shrubs and perennials.

One of the most popular events at of Boyer Nurseries is “Pick Your Own Cherries” beginning mid-June.  Customers can bring family and harvest fresh fruit direct from the orchard.  Sweet cherry picking has been a popular draw since the tradition began many years ago.  Boyer also offers pick-you-own sour cherries, blueberries, and apples. 

In October, The National Apple Harvest contributes a lot of consumer traffic.  During the festival, Boyer Nurseries offers live entertainment by Ray Owen, access to their evergreen hedge maze, apple picking, and Bruster’s Ice Cream.  These forms of “agri-tainment” have created a loyal customer base, which appreciates the hands-on interactions with the nursery.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Autumn Market Partners: Apples and Winter Squash

by Audrey Hess

Apple Crisp

A different twist on apple crisp makes a duo with vitamin A-rich winter squash.  This version also bumps up the nutrient density with blackstrap molasses, which provides calcium and iron.

about 3 pounds apples--any variety you like
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups water

1 cup cooked, pureed winter squash/pumpkin
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 cups rolled oats

1.  Wash apples well, core and slice (peels can stay on --easier and provides more fiber!).  As you slice them, place them in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking casserole.
2.  Stir in the cinnamon.
3.  Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish alongside the apples.
4.  In a mixing bowl, mix the pureed squash, blackstrap molasses and olive oil.
5.  Stir in the rolled oats.
6.  Sprinkle this topping mixture over the apples.
7.  Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until apples soften.

Tip for using winter squash:  Some recipes call for peeled, cubed winter squash.  To avoid what seems to be the dangerous endeavor of peeling raw winter squash, I prefer to cook the squash whole then scoop out its flesh and puree it (using a blender or food processor).  The winter squash puree can then be used in a recipe or frozen for future use.    To cook it, when I have the oven on for some other purpose, I puncture the skin at a few places with a knife, place the whole squash in a baking dish and let it bake until the flesh is tender.   The squash can also be cooked in chunks by simmering it in water, but I find that some of the flavor tends to be lost to the water this way.

Apple-Squash Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 apples, chopped
cooked, pureed flesh of one butternut or other winter squash  (see above tip)
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional--1-2 cups water, broth or coconut milk

1.  Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
2.  Add the cumin, cinnamon and ginger and stir while continuing to heat for about 1/2 minute.
3.  Add the apples, squash and salt and bring to a simmer for about 1/2 hour.
 Note:   This yields quite a thick consistency.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add an optional liquid at the beginning of the simmering stage. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Farmers Market Basics for the Back-to-School Lunchbox

By Audrey Hess

As our children head back to school many of us are thinking about packing healthy lunches-- or snacks for the car on the way to soccer practice, etc.   Fruits and vegetables are among the first things that probably come to everyone’s mind when considering what the market has to offer.  Look for kid-sized fruits (apples, plums, peaches).  Have the children help pick them out and help to wash them to have them ready-to-go. This time of year, melons abound, and a container of cubed melon makes a very refreshing snack!   Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers to slice (or eat whole) are among the more obvious veggie options (we’ll consider them veggies, although many a child will proudly share her/his knowledge that these are really fruits because they have seeds in them!)  Also think about veggies that you might steam and chill for convenient finger-food eating—green beans, broccoli, cabbage, or beets, for example.

The farmers market doesn’t stop there, however.  Look for breads with the highest proportion of whole grain flour available.  Sandwich possibilities are endless, but a few ideas are:  cheese/ tomato, peanut butter / apple slices, and hummus /cucumber.

Pesto Hummus Recipe:
2 cups garbanzo beans, drain but reserve liquid (about 1 can—or cook your own from dried)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 big handful basil leaves

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process to desired smoothness.  Add some of reserved garbanzo liquid if needed for desired consistency.  You can also use a potato masher –but need to mince garlic and basil before adding them to the bowl.  Use this as a sandwich spread or veggie dip.

Another protein-rich idea is hard-boiled eggs, 
which your child may enjoy peeling 
at lunch or snack time, 
or when helping to pack the lunch.
A couple of logistical details to remember:

  • If packing something watery for a sandwich (such as tomato slices), leave them in a separate small container for your child to assemble just before eating to avoid soggy bread.

  • Include an ice pack to help keep perishable foods safe.

Happy and healthy back-to-school wishes!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Healthy Options at the Adams County Farm Fresh Markets

By Audrey Hess

Tuesday’s post told about the Adams County Farmers Markets Association’s EBT machine, which helps to increase accessibility of the markets’ fresh foods to community members.  Another program collaborating through the Adams County Farmers Markets Association is Healthy Options--now in its third year.

Photo credit: Alicia Garcia
The Adams County Food Policy Council ( facilitates the Healthy Options program to help increase food access for other members of the community—targeting families that do not qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance yet still experience a challenge in making ends meet.   Community partner agencies such as Adams County Circles Initiative, the LIU Migrant Education Program, Casa de la Cultura, SCCAP Food Pantry, WellSpan Latino Community Health Promoter, Adams County Office for Aging, Family First Health Center, Healthy York Network, New Life Outreach Ministries, Adams County Head Start, and Manos Unidas have referred qualifying participants.  Funding for Healthy Options this year has been generously provided through the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation, a Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College fundraiser, donated shares from Everblossom Farm,  Beech Spring Farms , and Tuckey’s Mountain Grown Berries, Fruits and Vegetables  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms, a Campus Kitchen AARP grant, the Gettysburg Community Foundation, Gettysburg College Chapel  and St. James Lutheran Church.

This year’s 74 participating households each receive $44 of vouchers to spend at the Adams County Farmers Market Association markets each month from June to September.  They are also invited to participate in as many activities they can from a calendar full of events such as cooking and gardening classes, farm tours, hikes, a photography project and yoga.

Thanks to the community sponsors and dedicated farmers/vendors, local families are able to enjoy fresh, locally grown foods and participate in learning and community-building activities.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Farmers' Market Summer Quinoa Salad!

Corey and I are obsessed with Quinoa because it is so versatile and satisfying. Quinoa is an edible seed and all the rage right now. It has earned its reputation as the go to ingredient in all easy healthy recipes. A little goes a long way; you will be amazed at how it multiplies in size once cooked. Season it properly, add it to a blend of your favorite market veggies and you have a well-balanced, colorful meal. The best part about quinoa is that it makes the perfect foundation to any seasonal vegetable at the farmers market.

So in the spirit of National Farmers’ Market Week- Farmers' Market Summer Quinoa Salad! You can enjoy this recipe all year long and switch up the vegetables depending on the season and your cravings.
  • 1 ¾ cups broth ( chicken or veggie)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 small squash, quartered and sliced
  • 2 green onions
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice                                   
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped basil 
Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan and add quinoa. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook with the lid on until broth is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

Sauté garlic with oil in a large skillet until golden brown. Add chopped veggies, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook until tender. Turn heat off and immediately add cooked quinoa and combine.

Serve hot or cold. Garnish with lime and basil.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Implementing Food Access Programs Seamlessly

By Neal Carr

Did you know that the Adams County Farm Fresh Markets accept EBT cards at all of our locations? If you’re not familiar with the acronym, EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer and it refers to what some people may know more commonly as food stamps. Today, food stamps are obsolete and have been replaced with cards similar to credit or debit cards that hold funds electronically. These funds can buy any food items at the market, from healthy fruits and vegetables to hearty breads, jams and jellies, and even seedlings to grow food. At the farmers market, the Association has implemented an effortless system for cardholders to be able to use their benefits. When a cardholder approaches the centrally-located info table, market volunteers can slide their card through a small machine. The market volunteers type into the machine how much money the cardholder would like to spend at the market that day and a receipt is printed out.

Cardholders are then given red tokens equal to the amount they just took off their card. The red tokens are each equal to $1.00 and are accepted as cash at any vendor selling food products. These vendors include Five Points Farm, Swartz’s Pumpkin Patch, Boyer’s Nursery, Chapel Ridge Beef, Beevia Farms, Jo’s Bakery, Hilltop Farm Market, Round Barn Farm Market, and Wooly Boogers. Additionally, cardholders can save their red tokens for later trips to the farmers market if they do not spend them all in one day.

One of my favorite aspects of this great service we offer is the “Double Dollars” program. This program is offered to EBT cardholders and helps to augment their spending power at the market. Essentially, the program offers cardholders up to $10.00 in addition to the funds they spend at the market in a day. In other words, a cardholder can take out $10.00 from their EBT funds to spend at the market and receive an additional $10.00 from the “Double Dollars” program. “Double Dollars” is modeled after similar ventures at Fresh Farm Markets in Washington, DC and today the program is funded through the St. James Lutheran Church. Past sponsors of the program include Wellspan Health and Adams County Community Foundation.

The program has been seen as so successful that the idea is spreading to other farmers markets in the south central PA region, with the Adams County Farmers’ Market Association serving as a model for its replication at other markets. Providing these services has been hugely beneficial to both EBT cardholders and the farmers market and we are proud to offer such a vital service to our community members. Ensuring wide access to affordable and nutritious local produce helps keep our community well fed and healthy while bolstering the local economy. Please spread the word about our EBT services and “Double Dollars” program!