I thought it would be fun to look at the summer seasonal produce that are available at most local farms and farm stands. They include Apples, Beets, Peppers, Cantaloupe, Crookneck Squash, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Endive, Garlic, Grapes, Green Beans, Honeydew, Peppers, Nectarines, Okra, Peaches, Plums, Radishes, Onions, Shallots, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon, and Zucchini.
Fresh vegetables are available at many farms and farmers markets throughout the Lehigh Valley year round. My friend, Allison Czapp, oversees the Nurture Nature Center’s Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley program and works very closely with the local farmers in our area. Please go to www.buylocalglv.org to find a local farm stand or market near you. You can also download the 2019-2021 Local Food Guide, which is filled with wonderful information along with all the local farms and farmers markets available right here in the Lehigh Valley on pages 56-62. This guide is an excellent resource and I urge you to take a look at it.
WCHI works with Allison’s Lehigh Valley Fresh Food Bucks Program. Please go to www.lvfreshfoodbucks.org for much more info than I can give you in this short article. This program works with low income residents who have an EBT/Access card (food stamps). Fresh Food Bucks gives people shopping with food stamps up to $10 per day to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Residents eat better while supporting local farmers!
Whether you enjoy shopping at a farmers market, farm stand, the Eat Real Food Mobile Market or your neighborhood corner store, LV Fresh Food Bucks are easy to use! WCHI promotes this program with our guests all the time. This is how it works: 1. Take your EBT/ACCESS card to a participating location (find locations at www.lvfreshfoodbucks.org) 2. Shop for SNAP eligible food items using your EBT/ACCESS card. 3. They match what you spend with free LV Fresh Food Bucks to buy fresh and local produce – up to $10 a day! If you spend $5.00 on eligible products, the vendor will give you $5.00 of free eligible produce at the same time. You can spend up to $10 every day, and whatever you spend is matched with eligible produce. The two closest locations to Whitehall-Coplay are Hersh’s Market, 129 S 17th Street, West Allentown 484-664-7209 and Crooked Row Farm, 3245 Route 309, Just north of Orefield Rd, Orefield 610-417-6982. Fresh Food Bucks are accepted at both locations all year round.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers are also still available for low-income seniors and mothers enrolled in WIC. This program provides $24 in checks to use of fresh, locally grown produce. You can get vouchers until September 20th, and they expire at the end of November. Seniors can get vouchers by calling 610-782-3034 in Lehigh County and 610-829-6500 in Northampton County.
Anne Chickilly and her husband Erik Segan have grown fantastic vegetables at our WCHI garden including banana peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini for our Children’s Summer Feeding Program. The children have been receiving fresh vegetables for several weeks and get very excited every day when they see that are receiving more. Our Children’s Summer Feeding Program ends on Wednesday, August 25th due to WCSD starting school on Monday, August 28th.