FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE AND HANDCRAFTED WARES RETURN TO PARKS AND NEIGHBORHOODS THIS MONTH. A FEW OF OUR FAVES.
Banded bundles of asparagus stand at attention; floppy-headed daffodils fill paper cones; green cardboard baskets overflow with strawberries. Spring is announcing its arrival at neighborhood farmers markets in Philadelphia, set to be open around town from mid-May to November.
In the U.S., food can travel hundreds of miles to reach its final destination. Produce at farmers markets, however, gets transported much shorter distances, using fewer fossil fuels and other natural resources. That makes shopping at Philadelphia farmers markets a great way to fight climate change -- all while stocking your pantry with delicious, health-giving foods, and putting money into the overalls of regional farmers.
Below, where to find awesome farmers markets in Philadelphia (and just across the Delaware River in New Jersey) where you can buy locally grown produce, freshly cut flowers, baked goods and artisanal products.
Philadelphia farmers markets
The home of the Reading Terminal Market and the Italian Market has high standards for farmers markets. Here are some urban markets that live up to local expectations.
The Clark Park Farmers Market is one of The Food Trust’s largest — and it might just be one of its most beloved. In 24 years it has become a neighborhood staple, and it’s not unusual to see people stick around to eat their purchases or goodies from the food trucks that stop by. The Clark Park market operates year-round, thanks to the support of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Friends of Clark Park and the University of the Sciences.
Regular vendors: Hands on the Earth Orchard (fresh fruit, cider,baked goods), Landisdale Farm (certified organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs, raw milk), Triple Tree Flowers, Valley Milkhouse (cheese, butter, buttermilk). New vendors: Aaji’s Kitchen (tomato lonsa, an Indian condiment) Special events: Occasional special events. Check the Food Trust’s Instagram for updates. Where: 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue When: Saturdays, 10am to 2pm, year-round
Rotating vendors include many selling locally-made spirits including Deerfoot Vineyards, Goblin Alchemy, Ploughman Cider, and Triple Bottom Brewing.
All vendors accept cash, SNAP/EBT/P-EBT cards, Food Bucks (when you spend $5 using your EBT card, you get an additional $2 to spend on produce at the market) and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers.
Many vendors accept credit/debit cards.
Support The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program by getting a “Farmers Rock” tote bag for $5.
In the summer, overlaps with the Uhuru Flea Market monthly.
This South Philly (Pennsport) market is producers only, which means farmers sell only what they produce, and food artisans selling prepared foods must purchase ingredients from nearby farms. This means Dickinson Square offers many items that can’t be found in stores. Farm to City operates Dickinson Square and 12 more local farmers markets. The organization also works year-round to unite families, communities, farmers and food artisans through healthful, locally-grown food. Their motto is “Real Farmers. Real Food;” their goal is to save farmland by making farms profitable through direct sales to customers.
Regular vendors: Cellar Door Mushrooms (grown within walking distance), Spring Hollow Farm (pork, lamb, poultry, beef), Taste of Puebla (salsas, guacamole, chicken tinga, al pastor, tamales), Urban Essence (natural soaps, scrubs, body butter), Coddiwomple Canning (foraged and seasonal fruit jams, capers, pickles), The Potato Homestead (root and above-ground veggies and fruit) Where: Moyamensing Avenue and Morris Street When: Sundays, 10am to 1pm, May through November, first and third Sundays, 10am to noon, December through April
Can not accept SNAP/Access cards until further notice. (The wireless sales machine that processes cards is out of order).
Runs year-round, rain or shine.
This popular market, also run by Farm to City, borders Rittenhouse Square. It runs along Walnut Street on the north side of the Square for two blocks. In summer, it continues down the east and west sides of the park too.
Regular vendors: Beechwood Orchards (strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, apples), Frecon Farms (tree fruit, berries), Headquarters Sheep Farm (lamb), Kismet Bagels, Podere di Melo (greens, fruit, veggies, eggs, chicken), plus more bakers, florists, vintners, microbrewers Special Events: The Square is often full of street musicians and artists, especially during nice weather. The market continues to operate during the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show and other special events held in the park, when it can become very crowded. Where: 18th and Walnut streets When: Saturdays and Tuesdays 9am to 2pm, shorter hours in winter
The most Instagrammable spot on Saturdays is the corner of 18th and Walnut where Triple Tree Flowers displays big, bright, beautiful bouquets. But if you do take photos of the flowers, keep in mind that the Amish farmers who run Triple Tree prefer not to be photographed.
Come for brunch in the neighborhood, then hit the market or buy prepared foods and picnic in the park.
Several vendors offer samples.
Accepts FMNP Vouchers, also known as the Senior Vouchers or the WIC Checks. Farm to City is not able to accept SNAP/Access cards until further notice.
Located in the heart of historic Germantown, this farmers market will have 22 local food producers and artisans this summer. The market was opened in 2018 by The Food Trust in collaboration with Germantown United CDC and Weavers Way Co-op. It is now independently operated by Philly Forests, a small farm in Northwest Philadelphia that is driven to diversify the local food system. Philly Forests buys trees, shrubs and perennial plants and distributes them for free in neighborhoods with the least tree canopy in the city.
Regular vendors: Fifth of Farm Creation (jams and jellies), Juice Jawn (organic cold-pressed juice) New vendors: State Farm Apple, Goodlands Food Co. (small-batch hot sauces and condiments), Crocus Eatery (homestyle Pennsylvania Dutch dishes made vegan-friendly), Aaji’s Kitchen (tomato lonsa) Special Events: Live music from Northwest Philadelphia musicians. Dates TBD Where: 5501 Germantown Avenue When: Saturdays, 10am to 2pm, May 21 through November 12, 2022
There’s no application fee for vendors and a $20 per day fee for the duration of the season, making it more attainable by all.
BIPOC-owned, women-owned and LGBTQIA-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.
Most vendors accept SNAP and FMNP.
This year-round farmers market was established in 2007, but Philadelphians have been shopping at Headhouse Square since Colonial days. The open-air brick building, known as the Shambles, is one of the oldest surviving market buildings in the country. It provides shade for vendors and shoppers on hot days and protection against rain or snow.
This Society Hill market is one of The Food Trust’s largest, with approximately 40 vendors each week. You’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables plus locally prepared foods and artisanal goods such as bread, soup, caneles, coffee, beer, cider and wine.
Regular vendors: Griggstown Farm (fruit pies, pot pies, sausages, quail eggs), Mom-Mom’s Kitchen (pierogi and Polish snacks), Shore Catch (fresh, local seafood), Three Springs Fruit Farm New vendors: High Street on Market (artisanal bread and baked goods), Buzby Farm Special Events: Occasional special events. Check Instagram for updates, @TheFoodTrust. Where: 2nd and Lombard streets When: Sundays 10am to 2pm, May through December, Sundays 10am to 1pm, January through April
Many vendors accept pre-orders online.
All vendors accept cash, SNAP/EBT/P-EBT cards, WIC and FMNP vouchers and Food Bucks.
Most vendors accept credit/debit cards.
Looking for one particular vendor? Bypass the busy center path. Take the east side of the Shambles, which is closed to traffic.
Neil’s Sharpening Service visits the market to service dull knives on the third Sunday of every month.
Come early or late. If you come late, some things may be sold out, but sometimes you’ll get a deal from vendors.
For Anyone Who Loves the Philadelphia Region
100 Things To Do In Philadelphia -- Includes major attractions and hidden gems plus tips to enhance each experience. Ideal for visitors, transplants or long-time residents. Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia -- Tells the sweet & spicy stories behind more than 90 Philadelphia restaurants plus tips on how to snag reservations at Philly's trendiest restaurants, where to spot celebs, how to get into the city's secret speakeasies and more. For signed copies, click here. Use promo code TheCityPulse for free shipping.
This year-round, weekly market is a real community hub that since 2017 has been run entirely by volunteers. Since then it has flourished, even during Covid, and now on a typical weekend, there are about 20 vendors of foods, crafts and art beneath the twin bridges in East Falls. It’s also a place neighbors shop and socialize.
Regular vendors: Spring Hollow Farm (meat), Everwild Farm (produce), McCann’s Farm(produce), Twisted Gingers Brewing Company (small-batch beer), Rowhouse Spirits (local gin, aquavit, rum, vodka, whiskey), SCB Naturals (handmade, vegan, eco-friendly soap and wellness products). New vendors: Spring Hills Farm (maple syrup), Sorrentino Pasta (fresh pasta) Special Events: Regular events, like live music and, on May 28, a plant and seed swap. Where: 4100 Ridge Avenue When: Saturdays 10am to 2pm, May 7 to November 19, Saturdays 11am to 1pm late November through April
Come for lunch. The market has not only produce and ingredients but also hot, ready-to-eat foods.
It’s in a parking lot — half for vendors’ booths/half for customer parking. And parking is free!
The last Saturday of every month, there’s a double-sized market with lots more craft vendors (but less parking).
The market is right off the Schuylkill Trail, making it easy to access by bike. Soon there will be an Indego bike station there.
The Fairmount Farmers Market was established in 2004, across 22nd Street from Eastern State Penitentiary. The bustling market, which is operated by The Food Trust, is growing and now attracts about a dozen vendors each week. It has a real focus on local makers, like Ursa Bakery, which Food and Wine dubbed the best bread in Pennsylvania. The market is open year-round with shorter hours in colder months.
Regular vendors: Ursa Bakery (fresh bread), Beechwood Orchards, Ben’s Produce New vendors: Aaji’s Kitchen (tomato Ionsa), Shevy’s Babka Paradise (culturally Jewish baked goods and foods) Special events: Occasionally. Check out the Food Trust’s Instagram. Where: 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue When: Thursdays 3 to 7pm, shorter hours in colder months
Accepts cash, SNAP/ACCESS cards, Food Bucks and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers
Most vendors accept credit/debit cards.
Free parallel parking on 22nd Street; next to a parking lot
A revitalization project started in 2009 brought a weekly farmers market, community garden, orchard, new greenery and places to play to this 87-acre park, part of the Fairmount Park system. The Food Trust strives to provide delicious, nutritious food for all. Though this market is small, residents have grown to count on the unique partnership between the market, orchard and community garden for access to healthy food.
Regular vendors: Wood’s Edge Acres (fruits and vegetables) New vendors: Farmacy (urban farmer) and a rotating list of vendors including a local brewery and local bakeries. Special events: Fall Fest at the Hunting Park Community Garden last October, which included walking tours and giveaways, was a big success. Watch for a repeat in the fall of 2022. Plus cooking demonstrations and events with SEPTA and other community partners. Details are posted on the Food Trust’s Instagram. Where: Old York Road and West Hunting Park Avenue When: Saturdays 10am to 2pm, May 28 and through November.
Accepts cash, SNAP/ACCESS cards, food bucks, WIC and Senior Farm Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers
Plenty of free parking available in the park
Kids can bring their bikes. Little Philly Safety Village, a mini bike track for kids (ages 12 and under), is nearby.
Trees in the community orchard have identification signs.
South Jersey farmers markets
Do you stop in Jersey for tomatoes and blueberries on the way to the shore? Or as a welcome relief from traffic while fighting Sunday night traffic on your way back home? Here are more local markets in the Garden State and some good reasons to take your reusable shopping bag across the river.
The Collingswood Farmers’ Market, which USA Today dubbed one of the best in the nation, draws thousands of shoppers each week. This market is all about local — in capital letters. The emphasis is on New Jersey farmers, growers and food preparers, so if you like to know your local farmer, grower, beekeeper and baker by name, this market is for you.
Regular vendors: Flaim Farms (conventional produce), Savoie Organic Farm, Muth Family Farm (organic), Natures Own Farm, Hillacres Pride (family dairy) New vendors: Ventnor Greens (microgreens), Aaji’s Kitchen (tomato lonsa), Milk Jawn (small-batch ice cream) Special Events: Live music on two stages. Annual pie and salsa contests. Where: 713 North Atlantic Avenue (between Collings and Irvin Avenues/under PATCO), Collingswood, NJ When: Saturdays 8am to noon, May 7 to Thanksgiving
Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but the owner must use a market leash. Sales of market leashes have raised more than $15,000 for animal shelters and rescues.
Accepts WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers.
Gift certificates (called Market Bucks) are available at the Friends of the Farmers Market table.
This will be the 17th year for Haddonfield Farmers Market. The market attracts about 28 vendors including Muth Farm Flowers, which has been around since almost the very beginning, and Downtown Cookies, which has generated such a big following at farmers markets that the owner was able to open her first brick-and-mortar shop.
Regular vendors: Bear Soaps (homemade products soap, cream and other products and raw honey), Blue Rascal Distillery (blueberry brandy, vodka and whiskey), Black Sheep Farm (pesticide-free produce) and Seashore Smoothies New vendors: DiBartolo’s Bakery, Squirrel Dance Farm (herbal tea, cut flowers, honey Special Events: Weekly events include live music, giveaways and raffles.
Where: 2 Kings Court, Haddonfield, NJ
When: Saturdays 8:30am to 1pm, May 14 to October 15
Rain or shine.
Come June 4, and get the market plus Haddonfield Skirmish, a Revolutionary War battle reenactment.
To be in the know, subscribe to the market’s newsletter.
Reprinted from The Philadelphia Citizen.
by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Looking for things to do this spring/summer? Want the scoop on what's new in Philadelphia? Visit www.100ThingsToDoInPhiladelphia.com for signed books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.
Click here for more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including a list of rooftop bars, distilleries and breweries giving back to the community and more.