YEAR-ROUND WEEKLY FARMERS MARKET IN BETHLEHEM: New! Indoors in Winter Months! In the Most Unlikely of Places!

I support endeavors that make healthy food affordable and accessible, especially when they are organic and extra-especially (?) when they are local.*

So when you take the wonderous oasis that is a Farmer’s Market and find a way to make it a year-round event, noteably even  during freezing Pennsylvania winters, everyone benefits.

But here’s the punchline to… well, not to a joke, exactly, but it doesn’t seem to fit at all: This is happening in the Westgate Mall on Schoenersville Road.

Stay with me now.

The Westgate Mall, in short, can be summed by up watching the viral video of David at the Dentist – Is this real life? That said, I think everyone, even wacky abandoned strip malls, deserves a chance to explore a fresh start and a newly improved identity. 

So! The Westgate Mall Farmer’s Market was born, and I heartily applaud whoever got it running. Aside from the benefits of having a Farmer’s Market, I hope this can serve to propel the Westgate Mall into better status, bring in new merchants that last longer than 2 months and offer needed businesses.

Here’s the basic info:

WESTGATE MALL FARMERS MARKET:

  • Every Wednesday, Noon-7pm
  • Year Round
  • Located in the Middle of the Mall inside the Main Entrance
  • Currently 17 Vendors

Large flags wave near the road on Market days.

You CAN'T MISS the market because one of the vendors sells flags. Lots and lots of flags. It's weird and kitschy and alright by me. Why not?

Collard greens and squash, yum.

Ed from The Verba Farm

Apple Ridge Farm bakery items

It was wonderful to meet first hand even more of the farmers and vendors that have expressed interest in our Co-op project (see two pervious posts). While yesterday was the first day and the number of vendors was low, more will be coming in as the weeks progress and it’ll be wonderful to be able to shop for local goods past November. This is a really great time to kick this off as other local outdoor markets just wrapped up for the season.

Read more about it via Lehigh Valley Live

(*As a vegan I advocate products free of animal ingredients)

11 thoughts on “YEAR-ROUND WEEKLY FARMERS MARKET IN BETHLEHEM: New! Indoors in Winter Months! In the Most Unlikely of Places!

  1. I am so psyched that they are using Westgate as a venue for a market! I was a little bummed to see that it isn’t producer-only (one vendor, I think Verba, had pomegranates and other imported produce, complete with barcode stickers), but I’m happy to have somewhere that I can find local food products in the winter—Even if it means making sure I ask each vendor where their food is grown to be sure.

    • It’s funny you mention that, I was talking to the guys from Verba and they commented on how they used to do EXCLUSIVELY local (and of course organic without the official label, but it is) and people kept asking for things like that, so now they provide the occasional non-local thing but are sure it’s pesticide free. And when I was at their table, everyone was buying pomegranates, haha. So, if people are buying them anyhow, better to buy from from the Verba guys, right? It really is so awesome. We can extend our Farmers Market dates into the winter months now!🙂

      • Glad to hear they are buying pesticide free at least! Next week I’ll make a point to talk to them & learn more. I’ve bought from them before (when all was local), so I was kind of stunned when I saw it. This market (and the Valley View market starting in Easton), combined with what I stockpiled in the freezer this summer will be our saving grace for getting through winter. So glad to see things happening in Bhem!

    • From Ed Verba – You are correct. During the winter season it is impossible to get ONLY locally grown, pesticide and chemical free produce (if during the height of winter it is possible to even get ANY) During that time we do sell the freshest produce we can find. We sell organic as often as we can and fair trade as often as we can. We never hide what we are selling or its origin. If there is any doubt about anything we are selling, please feel free to ask. The pomegranates were imported, as they don’t grow here. We only sell them during the winter. Thanks for your response and interest in both Verba Farms and the Market at Westgate

      • I thought that local produce in Pennsylvania in February seemed way too good to be true. It’s good to hear there is at least a place to get good produce (regardless of the source) year round. Local is good and everything, but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of treating the planet well.

  2. Jaime, thanks for a great article! Westgate Mall is very familiar to me, but this was news to me. I shared your article with the BOLV group on Facebook, which happened to be discussing the new farmers market today. I also shared it with my folks. Keep up the great work! -Fred

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