Live music, colorful booths and a variety of products are featured at the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market in Farrington Square.
Organized by Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability, the market usually has between 12 to 15 vendors and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays from May 2-Oct. 31.
Deb Martin, the farmers’ market’s manager, said the purpose of the market is to “operate as a service to the community by Lehigh University, while also working to bring fresh, local, organic food into South Bethlehem — an area where these products aren’t commonly found.”
Martin’s role as a manager is to help vendors get permits from the city to ensure that businesses are fully licensed to sell at the market, order signs to promote the market around campus, and book live musicians every week.
One vendor at the market is Patriot Farms. Co-owners Brittany Pinter and Ansel Bachman quit their full-time jobs to pursue a dream of producing fresh, quality ingredients to share with others.
Pinter said Patriot Farms chooses to sell food at the farmers’ market because she was “drawn to the location of Lehigh because of its gorgeous area,” while also wanting her products to “reach consumers who are interested in shopping locally and supporting local farmers.”
Terry Harnett, ’12G, owner of I’m Hungry Truck and Depot, is not just a vendor but also a Lehigh alumna. Earning her master’s degree in 2012, Harnett said that coming back “feels like home.”
Harnett first started her business after learning she had fibromyalgia, which causes muscle pain. Realizing that processed foods caused flare-ups, she immediately saw the need for a product that was all-natural and allowed customers to know exactly where their food came from.
She said her goal is to help people create a healthy lifestyle.
“I want people to realize that not all healthy food has to taste bad, and that people can get the strength and energy needed to go about their lives from all-natural products that actually taste good,” Harnett said.
The farmers’ market runs every week but there is almost always product variation, especially when seasons change.
In early summer, for example, Patriot Farms typically features vegetables, such as tomatoes and carrots. When the weather cools in early autumn, more cold-weather vegetables such as lettuce, micro-greens and spinach are sold.
Harnett said she likes changing up her products, as many of them have short expiration dates because she doesn’t use preservatives. Because all her products are being produced using locally-sourced ingredients, this gives the products a shorter shelf life. However, one product that always stays consistent is her six-grain granola, which is a recipe she makes from scratch.
Something that all vendors have in common is their dedication to using sustainable, locally-grown foods.
“For people who want to make a positive impact on the environment, buying produce that is farmed organically and meat that is humanely-raised takes out a large part of one’s carbon footprint,” Martin said.