This year at the Pottstown FARM market you can find over 30 vendors, making it the year that marks the most vendors that have participated since the first market was held in 2016.
“We are growing and we are gaining three more vendors in July that will be full-time vendors,” said Sheila Dugan, who founded the market and currently serves as its director. “Last year we had 20 vendors, so we are expanding this year.”
The growth includes a larger offering of local farms.
“We are really excited because it’s our first year that we have five farmers,” Dugan said. “In the past we have had two to three.”
Cruz Family Little Farm and Rosedell Farms, both from Douglassville, will be some familiar faces from last year. Dugan shared what the new farms will be offering.
“We have Hopewell Flower from Elverson, Limerick Homegrown Produce & Trading Post from Limerick, and we have our microgreens, which is Sustainable Stash,” she said.
Sustainable Stash, founded last year by Anastasia Tricoli and her husband, Lucas, is located in Collegeville.
“We have been very excited to join the market,” Tricoli said. “It was a perfect fit — we have enjoyed it so much so far.”
They do some live cuttings at the market, as well as offer a pre-mixed salad they cut on Friday nights, the evening before market day, called Peas to Meet You.
“It’s a mixture of pea shoots, sunflower microgreens and our purple radish microgreen,” she said.
Additional new offerings
Other new offerings this year include Cocky Gourmet Confections.
“They are out of West Chester and do amazing peanut brittle,” Dugan said.
Saint Rocco’s Treats out of Perkasie is geared towards dog lovers.
“They have dog food they make that is five ingredients or less, and dog treats,” she said. “They also donate to rescues — for every pound of dog food they sell they donate a dollar for that”
Other new local offerings you will find this year are Felt Funky, which offers felted art and Lafferty Family Pizza. Working Class Coffee will be selling bags of their locally roasted coffee beans and you can find Kelsey’s Little Kitchen there offering traditional breads, while Bread and Brews offers flavored breads and coffee.
“The cool thing is Bread and Brews was started by a father and son,” she said. “It was a way to develop him into customer service and learning a trade and business.”
New activities for children
The market, which runs May 14 through Oct. 29, every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., also will be offering some new activities for children this year.
“This year we have a kids’ craft added to the market,” she said. “Pottstown Community Arts, The Carousel at Pottstown and The S.T.R.I.V.E. Initiative are local non-profits that are doing crafts with the kids.”
Carrying on from previous years due to its success is the market’s Two Bite Club.
“Kids under 12 try the item of the week and every time they do it they get a $5 coin to spend at the market and it costs them nothing,” Dugan said. “Last year we spent over $7,000 in coins for that — it’s huge and grant-funded.”
Some full family activities they will offer include educational talks.
“On August 20 we will have a beekeeper come in and talk about the pollination and bees and have some show and tell with their honey and things, so that will be cool,” Dugan said.
Butterfly Tagging is another talk taking place on Sept. 3.
“We have a specialist who comes out from Pottstown and talks about their butterflies and they tag them and then they are able to track migration,” Dugan said.
FARM’s mission is to provide access to fresh, locally grown agricultural products and handmade goods, which includes those who are underserved.
“We will have the SNAP initiative for the people that have the access card,” she said. “We continue to seek grants to fund that, so that we can add $5 to every $10 they use their access card for. That has been growing every year, especially since COVID.”
Overall, the market, which became their own 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit last year, aims to engage the community as a whole to give them a better understanding about farmers and farming.
“Our goal is that people understand sustainability and growing your own garden,” said Dugan, who is a resident of Pottstown. “Next year, I have some plans in the works to push that piece — to show people they can grow their own gardens even if they don’t have their own backyard.”
About Pottstown FARM Market
Pottstown FARM’s mission is to provide access to fresh, locally grown, agricultural products and handmade artisan goods to the Pottstown region. FARM also helps provide easy access to fresh foods for those who are underserved in our region through a variety of programs and incentives.
Upcoming Market Dates for July
The market runs through Oct. 29 and is held every other Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: 100 E. High St. (Smith Family Plaza), Pottstown
July 9, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
July 23, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Special Events offered by FARM – Mark Your Calendar
July 23 – Christmas in July
Aug. 20 – Beekeeper Talk
Sept. 3 – Butterfly Tagging
Oct.15 – Halloween Event