Region’s farmers markets tout quality

When comparing apples and oranges, is there a difference when comparing apples and oranges from a grocery store, or those purchased from a local farmers market?

Mary Jo Dries, who owns and operates Dries Orchard with her husband says there is indeed.

“Your products in the supermarkets are entirely different. Peaches in the supermarket are picked when they are really hard (unripe). We’re picking them a week to 10 days later than those ones picked to ship across country,” Dries said.

The later picked peaches have longer to ripen and are sweeter, Dries said.

Greg Rosenthal, public affairs specialist for the United States Department of Agriculture and a farmers market customer, says that there is a growing demand by the general public to buy local.

“There’s a demand for local food and people like to know where their food comes from,” Rosenthal said. “As those numbers grow the more economic opportunity and profits local farmers are going to see.”

People want the good, wholesome, delicious food that farmers markets offer, Rosenthal said.

Dries and her husband sell their wares at a variety of farm stands and are vendors at farmers markets including the Silver Moon Market in Lewisburg.

Dries says the demand for locally grown produce comes and goes with the times.

“You have it from time to time. It sort of drifts from buying local and what-not to commercial,” Dries said.

She has seen a rise in the number of produce shoppers though.

“It’s mainly the produce. It all depends on who is looking for the product and the product has to be in season,” Dries said.

While the fresh produce keeps customers coming back, for some farmers markets the supply is limited due to a number of factors.

“It’s not year round we can offer some products. It’s not like going to the supermarket where they get products from all over the world,” Dries said.

Other factors such as drought, insects or disease can effect fruit crops and vegetable harvests and thereby effect farmers markets.

A P Lorson Fruit Farm in Williamsport said they lost most of their summer produce but will be back open in the fall for the apple season.

Dries think people shop at farmers markets not only for the fresh produce but also for the experience.

“I think they like the idea of these outdoor markets and it’s sort of an event. Lewisburg Farmers Market has been in business for probably a good 50 years or more because of that,” Dries said.

According to a press release from the USDA Pennsylvania currently ranks seventh in the most farm stands/markets with 297.

The state Department of Agriculture provides visitors to its website a chance to search for area farmers markets and stands by entering their address, or area of the address they wish to search in.

A recent search of a fifty mile area in and around the greater Williamsport area yielded 222 results, including the Silver Moon, which is open every Wednesday and is off of Route 15 outside Lewisburg.

Farmers markets/stands in Lycoming County (hours are listed if available and confirmed):

654 Farm Market

7613 State Route 654 Williamsport

A P Lorson Fruit Farm

292 Lorson Road, Williamsport


Frank’s Produce

Newberry, 570-321-5407

Beech Grove Farm

3410 Route 184, Trout Run

Berried Treasures

35 Riverview Road, Linden

Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Carpenter Pumpkin Farm LLC

75 Carpenter Lane, Linden


Green Barn Berry Farm

7299 Armstrong Road, Muncy


Jersey Shore Farm Market Route 44, Jersey Shore


Lanes End Farm

1221 West Route 973, Jersey Shore

Marshalek’s Fruit Farm

1875 Quaker State Road, Montoursville

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Montoursville Outdoor Growers Market

457 Route 187 Highway, Montoursville

Pauling Tree Farm

663 Evergreen Road, Hughesville


Peachey’s Produce

1954 East Third St., Williamsport

Route 87 Growers Market

1853 state Route 87, Montoursville


Route 87, Montoursville

Star Wind Farm

212 Narber Fry Road, Pennsdale

Steinbacher Orchards

152 Apple Lane, Williamsport

Tebbs Farms & Greenhouses

1620 Four Mile Drive, Williamsport

Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Tom Styer Farm & Market

215 Shady Lane, Muncy

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Williamsport Outdoor Growers Market

Pine Street, Williamsport

Wengerd Market Place FS

1630 John Brady Drive, Muncy

Wentzlers’ Fruit Farms

205 Lycoming Mall Road, Pennsdale


Out of the county:

Route 15 Flea & Farmers Market/Silvermoon Flea Market

150 Silver Moon Lane

Every Sunday


Mansfield FM

30 E. Wellsboro St., Mansfield

Lock Haven FM

E. Main St., Lock Haven