From Farm to Table via the Farmers Market

Kelsey Werkheiser, Contributing Writer

Just off of Fairground Road in Lewisburg, an expansive lot of gravel borders a white building that stretches back towards a small treeline. Painted just below the peak of the building’s roof, blue lettering spells out “Lewisburg Farmers Market: Open Every Wednesday.” While true and straight to the point, this title reduces the market to its bare bones. Inside the market, shoppers are greeted with over 100 vendors that are helping to bring fresh harvest from local sources straight to the people of the Lewisburg community and beyond.

Originally, the space where the farmer’s market now resides was home to the Union County fairgrounds for over 70 years. Then, in 1937, the first farmer’s market was held and was so successful that the fair never returned. Instead, this area became home to the farmer’s market. In 1965, the original wooden market building burned down, to which the current concrete building was built. 

As the building’s sign displays, the market is open  every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additionally, they’re open on the last Saturday of each month from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. On occasion, the market will hold special events one Saturday of each month. These events could have a particular focus or theme making the already unique experience even more special. For example, this past Saturday on September 11, the market hosted a fall craft show.

The numerous vendors at the shop range from fresh produce, meat, baked goods, coffee and much more. A fan-favorite advertised on their website and Facebook page are hotdogs wrapped in a pretzel roll, made by Esch’s Pretzels.  Another very popular spot is Mammy’s Donuts, offering a variety of freshly baked donut flavors. If you’re looking to support the market but aren’t looking for food, there’s also vendors selling products such as flowers, books, jewelry, and soaps. 

While the market is a brief five minute drive from campus, it’s a hefty 35 minute walk if you don’t have access to a car, therefore making it difficult to visit and support the market for those without a car. In years past, the regular campus shuttle didn’t make any stops at or near the market. Taking note of this issue, the Bucknell Student Government decided in 2018 to organize shuttle services to and from the farmers market creating an easy transportation mode for those without a car. Now, every Wednesday, there are two shuttles that leave at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. from MacDonald Commons. This is a great way for students to become more engaged with the town that surrounds them, especially for first-year students that are still getting acclimated to the area. It also creates an opportunity for first-years to get off campus a bit, something that can be rather difficult to do without a car. 

If you’re interested in visiting the Farmers Market but are nervous to step off of campus alone, look no further than the Bucknell Environmental Club. Co-presidents Riley DeBaecke ’23 and Sarah Frischmann ’23 have begun discussing possible activities for the club to take part in for this upcoming semester, and feel that taking the shuttle to the market would be a great addition to their plans. “Visiting the Farmers Market strongly aligns with the beliefs and values of the Environmental Club. The Farmers Market supports buying produce in a less-packaged setting which cuts down on material waste, and buying from local sources cuts down on the emissions that the usual mass-production process would produce.” DeBaecke said. Additionally, going in a group on the shuttle is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, as opposed to going alone in individual vehicles.  

The Engineering Success Alliance (ESA) is another club that has organized group trips to the farmers market. Asteri Aliaj ’22, a member of the ESA, shed some light on what it’s like to visit the market. She recalled that some of the vendors were Amish or have a lower-technology disposition. Some of the foods that stood out in her memory the most were pretzels and sausage sandwiches. She also mentioned that because of some of the vendors that sell knick knacks or clothes, the market also has a flea market-like element to it. “Many people do not realize that the Farmers Market sells more than just food,” Asteri said, continuing on to say how surprised by this she was during her first visit. 

The Farmers Market is a truly special addition to Lewisburg that many students on campus do not even know about. It offers not only an opportunity to engage and support the Lewisburg community but also to try some amazing food and shop around the different unique stands. Open every Wednesday, make sure to take a trip out to the Farmers Market this week for the vendors, fresh foods and much more!

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