Discovering the Spice of Life: State College Farmers’ Markets

Photo by Shannon Deuel

In light of the wondrous Fall season, especially around the State College area, townies and students alike seem to become more excited for one of many things – farmer’s markets. Fresh produce, flowers and seasonal favorites like fresh made apple cider seem to bring total elation to some Penn State students.

The beautiful thing about farmer’s markets is that it creates a mutual benefit to both the hard working farmer and the eager consumer. There is something about fresh, locally grown produce that excites us all. Better taste, better price, better and fresher products, and better for the environment – farmers’ markets seem like the answer to modern day grocery shoppers.

Although at times, living in desolate central Pennsylvania may seem as though us, Penn Staters, are the only civilization in the surrounding area, many students are not familiar with the variety of farmers’ markets available in the surrounding State College area.

Mostly commonly known on campus, every Tuesday and Friday, from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Locust Lane in downtown State College seems to bring students from far and near. The Locust Lane Farmer’s Market has been around for years, and rarely ever disappoints. Local farmers from neighboring areas like Bellefonte, Lemont, and even some local Amish families from farther away lug their locally grown, fresh produce to prepare for the swarm of Penn State students and families who have been eagerly awaiting their arrival all week. An array of fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, dairy, flowers and even baked goods can be found at this adorable farmer’s market.

Sophomore student, and State College townie, Caela Camazine, had exciting things to say about her farmers’ market experience here, “But seriously the locust lane farmers market is so great. The vibe is always so positive and I feel like it’s a great way to bring the community together. All of the booths are so unique and fun!” 

Sophomore, Dustin Minzter, was also enthusiastic to share her thoughts on the downtown farmers market. “I love having access to fresh and local food and flowers, [it] gives me a little taste of home.” 

Little do many people know is that there are numerous farmers markets in the surrounding State College area. We do, after all, live in an area home to farmland!

Bellefonte Farmers Market

All year round on Saturdays from 8 a.m to noon Bellefonte hosts a quaint farmers market of their own. Offering fresh produce, meats, dairy, baked goods and more, from a variety of Farmer’s Markets in the Centre County region, this area has given convenience and community to the townies of State College.

Lemont Farmers Market

From May through October, 3 to 6:30 p.m., the Lemont Farmers market is right on Mt. Nittany Road just before the scenic route that many students take to Mount Nittany itself. They had at least five vendors this past season all of whom provided fresh produce essentials like fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and even some homemade household items!

Boalsburg Farmers Market  

Student and townie, Camazine, also adds, “Being from Boalsburg, the Boalsburg farmers market is always a fun thing to go to because I get to see people from my neighborhood and talk to really interesting vendors. The Boalsburg farmers market has this amazing natural soap stand, I absolutely love it. It’s bigger than the locust lane one, but it’s still just as lovely!”

During the summer and fall months, June through October, Boalsburg hosts their farmers market on Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m in the parking lot of The Pennsylvania Military Museum. During the market’s winter season, it is held inside at St. John’s United Church of Christ.

All products sold at this farmers market are locally grown or produced by the vendors that sell them, not by third parties. They offer just about everything you could imagine from fresh fruits and vegetables to flowers, various meats, homemade salsas and honey, ready-to-eat take-home entrees and even dog treats! 

There are so many reasons to support farmers markets, and not just those wonderful ones in State College, but in every area. Experience real taste, take advantage of each season’s prime offerings, support hard working family farmers and protect the environment. It helps knowing where the food that you buy (and eat) comes from, and by supporting farmers markets, you’re doing way more good than to just yourself. Discover the spice of life of variety at any local farmers market in your area!