As the crisp autumn air gives way to winter’s chill, there’s no denying the arrival of the holiday season. It’s time to turn our attention to Christmas and New Years festivities. In addition to decorations and gifts, many of us are prepping for seasonal parties and traditional family gatherings. Berk County’s outstanding farmers markets and local growers make shopping for a fresh and delicious holiday spread a snap.
There are so many reasons to shop at our beloved local markets. In addition to supporting the local economy, when buying from local suppliers you don’t need to worry about supply chain snafus. And, as far as we’re concerned, it is a lot more fun. Use our list below to learn about some of the best local small business options for holiday meal and gift choices. Let’s work towards bountiful and community-focused feasts everyone can enjoy.
Leesport Farmers Market
- Business Hours: Open on Wednesdays, Flea Market - 7AM; Farmers Market - 8AM - 5PM; Livestock Auction - 1PM
- Address: 312 Gernants Church Road Leesport, PA, 19533
On any Wednesday, the locally-renowned Leesport Farmers Market comes to life with an astonishing selection of fresh produce, cheese, meats and baked goods. Be warned! You might find yourself snacking on your fresh buys as you browse the aisles. The family-owned market began as a cattle auction house for local farmers. Today, the mid-week market still holds the livestock auction, along with food stands and flea market vendors. It is a community gathering spot with a huge banquet hall, weekend flea markets and five seasonal Craft Fairs held annually. With so many shopping options available, a trip to Leesport might result in successful grocery and gift hauls.
Rodale Institute and Garden Store
- Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM
- Address: 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530-9320 USA
For over sixty years, Rodale Institute has been a leader of organic agriculture, lighting the way when few others understood the value of new growing practices that deliver more nutrient dense and healthier fruits and vegetables. Located in Kutztown, PA, visitors can shop the Institute’s Garden Store and Visitors Center for books, gardening and kitchen tools, apparel, and specialty foods - like custom cuts of pork. Rodale also offers an online store, webinars, classes, and tours, all great gift ideas for the gardener on your list.
West Reading Market
- Business Hours: Every Sunday 9am-12 noon thru the end of the year
- (exception) No Market on Sunday 11/28 and Sunday 12/26
- Winter Schedule: 1st/3rd Sundays from 10am-12 noon (January – April 2022)
- Address: Penn Ave & 6th Ave, West Reading, PA, PA 19611
The West Reading Farmers’ Market is smaller than most farmers markets in the region but it prides itself on offering an interesting variety of very best in locally grown produce, sustainably raised meats, poultry and farm fresh eggs, artisan baked goods including breads, desserts and products made with locally sourced ingredients. Vendors offer customers the option of ordering online, with Sunday pick-up.
Renninger’s Farmer’s Market
- Business Hours: Fridays: 10 AM to 6 PM; Saturdays: 8 AM to 4 PM
- Address: 740 Noble St., Kutztown, PA 19530
Renninger’s Farmers Market is a bustling center of opportunities for buying fresh produce, dairy products, locally-made meat products, and more. Since 1955, Renninger’s Market has been proudly providing customers with local options from merchants and farmers in the Kutztown area, and this time of year the air is filled with festive scents from food and ingredients that fit perfectly as part of your family dinner. Enjoy the discovery as you meet with friends for lunch or while buying a holiday gift for a loved one.