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Release Date: Monday, May 11th 2015

SPRING IS IN THE AIR AS PDP’S MARKET SQUARE FARMERS MARKET RE-OPENS THURSDAY, MAY 14

SPRING IS IN THE AIR AS PDP’S MARKET SQUARE FARMERS MARKET RE-OPENS THURSDAY, MAY 14


VOTED BEST FARMERS MARKET IN PITTSBURGH, NEW SEASON OPENS WITH FLOWER BULB GIVEAWAY FROM THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA CONSERVANCY


MARKET INCREASES PRODUCT DIVERSITY WITH NEW VENDORS AND ADDS SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT TO SUPPORT DOWNTOWN RETAILERS


The Market Square Farmers Market returns on Thursday, May 14 for its 11th season. Presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the Market was voted 2014 Best of the ‘Burgh in the Pittsburgh Magazine readers’ poll and features more than 30 vendors of locally grown produce, organic products and small batch produced foods. The Market occurs rain or shine each Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through October 29, 2015.


To kick off the season, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will give away thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs during the Farmer’s Market. The bulbs are recycled from the more than 400 Downtown Pittsburgh planters, funded by the Colcom Foundation, and community gardens maintained by the Conservancy. The bulbs will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of two dozen bulbs per person. Donations to the Conservancy are welcome in exchange for the bulbs.


“We are very pleased that the Market Square Farmers Market has established itself as a beloved weekly event that brings farm fresh produce to the dinner tables of the many thousands of people living and working Downtown,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “But we also take great pride in leveraging the Market’s sizable foot traffic to support the City’s cultural institutions and creating a new platform to also support the Downtown retail community.”


New to the Market this year is the PDP Small Business Spotlight program designed to support small retailers in Downtown Pittsburgh. Most weeks at the Market, a featured retailer will be provided the opportunity to showcase their offerings to promote engagement with the Market’s more than 5,000 weekly visitors. Among the Downtown businesses slated to participate are Boutique la Passerelle, Amazing Books, Boutique 208, Emporio Tobacco, and Wallace Floral. More information on the program can be found at http://www.downtownpittsburgh.com/what-we-do/economic-development/small-business-spotlight.


In addition to the excellent vendors, the Market features free, weekly entertainment, including performances from a variety of local festivals, groups and luminaries such as the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Blues Festival. The first of many local musical artists performing throughout the season will be singer-songwriter Jessica Bitsura, presented by WYEP-FM, who will perform this Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Market will also present special theme days such as a Hawaiian Luau, Christmas in July, Irish Day, and a Halloween Bash.


Again this year, the streets surrounding and leading into Market Square will be closed to through traffic from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each Thursday. To keep up to date with the schedule and other details, please be sure to visit the PDP’s website to register for the weekly “In the Know” e-newsletter and follow the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership on Twitter @DowntownPitt.


One of this year’s new full-time vendors is Batch, which offers artisan jams and jellies and was only launched last year. Co-owner Meghan Pohl had this to say, “Starting any business is not easy and finding new customers is a necessity. Our part time presence last year at the Market really helped establish our business by reaching people from throughout the region in one place at the same time. As a result, we were able to expand our business to the point that we produce enough products to satisfy repeat clientele at the Market as well as open a brick and mortar store.”


Just Harvest will be back conducting their Fresh Access program every week of the 2015 Farmers Market season. This program enables shoppers to use their credit/debit cards and food stamps via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) to purchase a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, meat and dairy products. SNAP users can swipe their cards and receive tokens that are accepted by many of the vendors. Users of the token kiosk for credit and debit card purchases will be asked to contribute $1 per transaction to defray costs of the program.


2015 Farmers Market Vendors


The list of regular Market Square Farmers Market vendors features many familiar faces who, along with a mix of new participants, will bring diverse products to market.


Always Summer Herbs – Family business specializing in honey, tea, and herbs from Slippery Rock, PA
Aunt Carol's Homemade Dips – Pre-packaged homemade dip packets that you whip up fresh at home
Batch – Unique homemade jams and jellies made from surprising ingredients
Billy’s Country Smoke House – Frozen and smoked meats to go and delicious ready-to-eat sandwiches!
Breezy Hill Farm - Organic produce out of Homeworth, Ohio
Cinco De Mayo Salsas – Fire roasted salsas and dips
Clarion River Organics – Wide selection of organic produce produced by a cooperative of 10 family farms from Sligo, PA
Edible Earth Farm – Organic vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, fruit and pastured, non-certified poultry
Enon Valley Garlic – Featuring over 20 varieties of garlic
Fabulous Homemade Cookies – The name says it all! A local favorite
Family Farms Creamery – Cheese, yogurt, milk, and delicious homemade ice cream
Good L'Oven Bakery - Specializing in old fashioned cookies using all natural ingredients from local sources
GoodLIFE Juices – Carefully crafted cold pressed health juices
Gosia’s Pierogies – Fresh ready-to-eat pierogies from a Polish family recipe
Hello Hummus – Offers handmade, small batch hummus.
Joyce's Copper Kettle Fudge – Delicious homemade fudge in a variety of flavors
Little Athens Catering – Ready-to-eat Greek foods such as grape leaves, spanakopita, pastitsio and more
Mediterra Bakehouse - Bread baked in custom stone-hearth, steam-injected ovens.
Morning Dew Orchards – Offering dozens of apple varieties throughout the season, based out of Salem, OH
One Woman Farm - Featured in a documentary film, Farmland, about the next generation of young farmers and specializing in over 50 varieties of vegetables
The Olive Tap – Unique, flavorful, fresh, and award-winning olive oils and balsamic vinegars
Ridgeview Acres Farm – Located between Ligonier and Donegal, a family owned and operated farm specializing in fresh cut flowers.
Rise Above Bakery – Scones, cookies, breads, loaf cakes and more
Sand Hill Berries – Pies, jam, fresh berries, and jellies
Simmons Farm – Fruits, vegetables, flowers
Spring Harvest Farm – Hydroponic and conventionally raised vegetables and herbs from northern Mercer County, PA
Sweet Patootie – Homemade and natural pet treats


Part Time Vendors


In addition to the vendors who will be at the Market each week, the PDP looks forward to welcoming rotating vendors, including several new vendors who will join the Market for limited engagements.


Cobbler World – Cobblers, cheesecakes, pound cakes and more - May 14, July 2
Heritage Farm - Grass-fed beef and lamb, forest-forage fed pork, poultry and eggs - May 14, 21, 28, June 4
Ohio City Pasta - fresh pastas, pierogies, gnocchi, ravioli and more - May 24, June 4
The Pop Stop, LLC - Homemade ice pops with exotic flavors and fresh fruits– June 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 27
Underhill Farm – Artisan yarn and wool from Leicester Longwool sheep and Angora goats - May 14, 28, June 11, 25, August 27, September 10, 24, October 8, 22

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