Stock your kitchen in no time with a visit downtown for farm fresh produce.
It’s peak season on a Saturday at Morgantown Farmers’ Market. More than 30 vendors have gathered, setting up fruits, vegetables, and even crafts—preparing for another busy weekend. A line forms down the sidewalk in downtown Morgantown as regulars patiently wait for the market to begin. Finally, it’s 8:30 a.m. and the bell rings. The shopping starts.
From the greens of asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini to the vibrant squash and peppers, the local farmers’ market is a medley of color and flavor. Vendors also sell nuts, herbs, meats, eggs, plants, and jams, not to mention clothing and rugs.
The farmers’ market has been a tradition in Morgantown for 10 years. What started with a few people selling produce in front of the courthouse has become a Saturday staple in a parking lot on the corner of Spruce and Fayette streets, says Lisa Lagana, market manager. This year, construction began on an outdoor pavilion to give the market a permanent space—the Morgantown Market Place. The market will be open in the parking lot behind Daniel’s on the corner of Chestnut and Fayette streets through July, until the new home is complete.
The “buy local” phenomenon that’s happening nationwide is alive and well in Morgantown. At the farmers’ market, all products are grown or made within a 50-mile radius of Morgantown, so customers know their purchases are supporting area farms. New Day Bakery, an artisan bakery on Brockway Avenue that uses locally grown wheat, has been at the market for five years, selling breads and pastries. “The market fosters a sense of community where people can feel proud about all of the goods produced in town,” says bakery owner Christine Tinari. Stationed between Firefly Farms (Maryland) and Stewart’s Greenhouse (Pentress), New Day’s table is filled with fresh ciabatta, rustic Italian, and walnut wheat breads. Also on the table are sweet pastries like sugar and chocolate chip cookies the size of pancakes, strawberry rhubarb scones, and orange cranberry muffins. The market is like its own small town—where everybody knows everybody and there are a lot of regulars. “We’ve made a lot of friends here, and we know exactly what people want when we see their faces,” Christine says.
On July 28, 2012, the market will have its grand opening at the new, permanent location on the corner of Spruce and Fayette streets. The Morgantown Market Place will be a lighted, open-air market with a roof to protect vendors and market-goers from rain. The new space will also include a culinary station to inspire people with demonstrations of healthy recipes. “A ton of local chefs and some dieticians from the university have already expressed interest,” Lisa says. Vendors are thrilled for the new structure. “We are all really excited for the grand opening. We are even going to add an
extra hour to the market,” she says.
Driven from the passion of the local farmers who participate and the community that supports them, the market has grown a great deal over the years. “We’re very thankful to be a part of the market, to meet new friends, and to see the community coming together,” Christine says.
Morgantown Farmers’ Market, corner of Chestnut and Fayette streets; 304.291.7201