Preparing for the Scranton Co-op Farmers Market

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Farmers from across our area were in the Electric City Wednesday, a week ahead of the annual Scranton Co-op Farmers Market, for their annual cleanup day.

Vendors were preparing their stands for the upcoming season.

A fresh coat of paint was added before the fresh produce arrives. Farmers washed away the grime at the farmers market grounds on Barring Avenue in Scranton.

"We're supposed to take care of our stalls and make them ready for the market, and then if they need any help sweeping or wiping down or whatever," said Betsy Bonczar, Beta Bread.

It's a lot of work, but the harvest was, too. And the start of the market means all that hard work will start to pay off.

"You're actually getting to see someone who raises the fruit and brings it right to you. There's no middleman. It's coming from the farmer," said Paul Brace of Brace's Orchard.

The farmers are preparing for the 80th season of the Scranton Co-op Farmers Market, and many of the family names you see around here have been here all that time.

Paul Brace has been selling fresh fruit here himself since the early 1980s.

"My grandfather came before me, so we've been coming here for generations," Brace said.

Farmers say a wet and rainy spring hurt them in the beginning and has been particularly tough on peaches.

"A little too wet and a little cold in the spring, so I'd say things are off a little bit, but I think there will be plenty to go around," said Greg Heller of Heller Orchards.

Farmers say everything gets better when it's market season.

"Just the anticipation of what's coming. Hopefully we'll have a good season. The weather was very wet last year. We'll see what this year brings," Bonczar added.

The Scranton Co-op Farmers Market starts next Wednesday and is open every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through Thanksgiving.

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