On Your Table: Get the most from local farmers’ markets

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times

One of the joys of shopping at farmers markets is picking out your own produce.

As farmers market season kicks off again I am excited to reconnect with the farmers whose produce graces my summer dinners.

A trip to one of these markets can yield nearly all that’s needed to make a spring dinner – fresh vegetables, local meats, tender herbs and salad fixings. For good measure, pick up a loaf of just-baked bread to round off the meal. Once underway, each week’s market promises the opportunity to try new items and new recipes, not to mention experiencing the freshest produce one can buy at the height of seasonal ripeness.

According to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), farmers markets are very popular with consumers who are looking to eat healthier . They said that Chester County boasts an abundance of farmers markets offering great varieties of goods including everything from fruits, vegetables and meats to specialty products like jams and baked goods.

In order to get the best farmers market experience here are some suggestions:

Arrive early

Markets tend to be less crowded when they first open and sell out of the more popular items as the day progresses. Don’t take the chance that sellers might be out of products you are looking for.

Ask questions

Don’t be shy. Farmers are knowledgeable about their produce and can offer great advice on how to prepare an item, suggestions on pairing with other ingredients and even recipes.


Rather than reaching only for the fresh tomatoes or corn, ask about what is being offered based on what is in season. Discover new foods and check out interesting varieties.

Bring your own recycled bags and cash

Be a friend to the environment and the sellers by bringing your own bags or baskets. While most vendors can process credit cards, cash is always welcome and speeds your visit through the various stalls.

Considering the great abundance of healthful local produce and delicious homemade goods what better choice than to shop farmers markets this summer. There are also a wide variety of farm stands where consumers can buy an equally wide range of local foods

Here is a listing of local farmers markets courtesy of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council:

Anselma Farmers and Artisans Market

Historic Mill, Route 401

Chester Springs, PA

Wednesdays 2PM – 6PM


Artisan Exchange West Chester

208 Carter Dr.

West Chester, PA

Saturdays 10M – 2PM


Coatesville Farmers Market Association

Gateway Park, Routes 82 & 30

Saturdays 10AM – 1PM


Downingtown Farmers Market

Kerr Park

Thursdays 3PM – 7PM


East Goshen Farmers Market

East Goshen Park

West Chester, PA

Thursdays 3PM – 7PM


Kennett Square Farmers Market

Downtown Kennett Square

Fridays 2PM – 6PM


London Britain Township Market

Nichol Park

Landenberg, PA

Fridays 2PM – 6PM


Malvern Farmers Market

Burke Park

Saturdays 9AM – 1PM


New Garden Growers Market

Near New Garden Township Park

Saturdays 9AM – 1PM


Oxford Village Market

3rd & Locust St.

Tuesdays 12:30PM – 6PM


Phoenixville Farmers Market

Under the Veterans Memorial

Saturdays 9AM – 1PM


The Farmers Market at Elverson

Livingood Park at Rt. 23

Saturdays 9AM – 1PM


West Chester Growers Market

Church Street Parking Lot

Saturdays 9AM – 1PM


West Grove Farmers Market

Harmony Park

Thursdays 2PM – 6PM

Cathy Branciaroli also writes about her adventures in the kitchen on her award-winning blog Delaware Girl Eats

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One Comment

  1. Kennett Square Farmers Market says:

    Please note the hours for the Kennett Square Farmers Market changed this season. The new hours are from 3pm to 7pm on Fridays. Thanks!

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