State College winter farmers market an oasis from winter chill and gloom

Posted by Local Food Journey on 01/20, 2016 at 09:32 AM

State College winter farmers market an oasis from winter chill and gloom

Editor’s note: This is the first piece by our new Local Food Journey intern, Alexandrea Scott, a Penn State communications major.

If you’re the type of person who prefers fresh grown vegetables, homemade jam, organic beauty products, or in the mood for some Alaskan salmon, this is the place for you. The Winter Farmers Market, in downtown State College, takes place every Friday at the State College Municipal Building, located on 243 Allen St. It starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes all day till 5:00 p.m.

Nittany Valley Organics is a great stand to start at. If you’re an obsessive candle burner, (like myself) forget about Bath and Body Works; this stand will blow your mind. Tony Musso and his wife Dee have been making all home organic products for the last five years. The items they make vary by demand and they have a huge variety to choose from. The scents of candles range from really girly smells, like loving spell, to their “ManlyMan” candle collection that contains scents like flatulence and beer. 

Variety of candles at Nittany Valley Organics

Their best selling product is the shampoo. Musso jokes and says, “I’m not allowed to make this, and my wife does all the complicated stuff.”

The main ingredient for shampoo takes around four days of cooking, and then another day to mix in the rest and to complete the finished product. They learned how to make everything online and a lot was trial and error.

Another unique stand is the Brazilian Munchies. They bring a culture shock to this farmers market. They introduce pastries like cheese bread and small fried chicken. For now they only do local farmers markets, but have high hopes to open a store in the future. The hottest item on the menu is brigadeiro, which is a small chocolate pastry.

At another stand, 14-year-old Fannie Fisher was delighted to be able to sell her families vegetables and dairy products. Her father started Spring Bank Acres before she was born. Looking to make extra money, he started making dairy products like milk and yogurt. The demand was high, so they progressed to cheese and growing some vegetables. Now they have a green house with a huge selection of vegetables, 300 chickens, and other farm animals.

Winter produce abounds at Spring Bank Acres

One of their most popular requests is the vegetable share box. Every week they put together boxes of fresh vegetables and deliver them to people. This ranges between 12-15 dollars. Fisher says that all of her 8 siblings are all very proud of the accomplishments they made through this business.

Jeff’s Jams creates different flavors of jam and salads. It was the business’s first time being apart of this farmers market. Raspberry Jalapeno jam is what his business is known for. All of his jams are 100 percent natural. By trade, Jeff is an interior decorator and landscape designer, but started this through his family. He says he really enjoys going to farmers markets because he gets to talk to new people and introduce his products. Jeff also does fundraisers for clubs and schools. He gives students the opportunity to make $1.50 from every five-dollar jar. 

Jeff’s Jams

Alaskan salmon is also a big seller here at Captain Dan’s stand. Captain Dan lives on a fishing boat in Alaska from June to September. Joined on his boat by his faithful dog, Dan catches up to 10,000 pounds of salmon. He then brings it back to State College and sells to local natural food stores and small restaurants. Captain Dan has been doing this for 10 years, and loves it.

Once you’re about finished with each stand, make sure you stop by Eden View Owners Eric and Cindy are very proud of their full line of seasonal produce.

“If we don’t grow it or make it, we don’t take it,” Cindy says.

This all started 11 years ago, when they were feeling lazy and had no energy. They made the change overnight and started growing their own vegetables. Now they raise their own chickens. At first they started a little harvest shack at the end of their driveway, but because they both worked other full time jobs, this was just pushed to the side. Eventually they went to their first farmers market, and they were hooked. Now they only do two year-round onsite markets, but sometimes participate on online markets.

Supporting local farmers markets is a great way to eat healthy and help out those hard working locals! The indoor market is open November through March from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tags: winter | farmersmarket |

{name} Author: Local Food Journey

Bio: An exploration of what it means to eat local


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