SCRANTON — It’s been a summer of extremes for farmers who set up Wednesday for the first day of the Co-op Farmer’s Market of Scranton.
The growing season began with cold and rain and now, extreme heat as they start to sell.
The stands are off the main stretch through the providence section of Scranton, and after sitting stagnant since November they come back in mid-July bright, busy, and bursting with sensory overload.
“I love the smells and the sights, I love seeing everyone again, I love seeing the farmers again. I just really like it. I plan my July for ‘when’s the first day of the farmer’s market?”’ said Lisa Peterson of Peckville.
The Co-op Farmer’s Market began its 74th summer with the crowds and the hot weather many have come to expect. It runs each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon to 7 p. m. until Thanksgiving.
On the first day though, customers focus on a summer feast.
“I got lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, summer squash, I got onions and broccoli,” said Sue Pavadano of Olyphant.
It’s a place to pick up lunch, too.
Jim Shorten from Mount Cobb spent the hot day over a smoker, cooking barbeque to perfection.
“It’s awesome; I can’t believe the crowds here, all the people here. We’ve had probably 50 customers so far and it’s only I think 1:00, we’re very excited our first day,” Shorten said.
It’s been a growing season of ups and downs for the farmers. The summer started off rainy and sometimes cool and now they’re giving their customers tips on how to keep the produce cool in this extreme heat.
“In the heat, well you know, you want to keep it inside and refrigerate some of the stuff, if you want it ripe or not ripe, it depends. But keep them in a cool place,” said William Peirano of Heller’s Orchard in Wapwallopen.
The folks from Heller’s Orchards doled out that advice to customers. They and other farmers don’t have all their produce ready for sale yet because the rainy start to summer slowed them down.
“It helped out a little bit, but then it got too cold and slowed down the tomatoes and the peppers for us a little bit,” said Mark Hopkins of Hopkins Farms in Falls.
They say that’s the reason to keep coming back, to see what the farmers roll out next.