It is Farmers Market Season!

Tis the season to shop fresh and shop local at the county’s farmers markets! Allegheny County residents are fortunate to have an abundance of farmers’ markets nestled in our communities. Get tips to shop or sell in our latest blog.

Chelsea Cavlovic

May 9, 2024

Tis the season to shop fresh and shop local at the county’s farmers markets! Allegheny County residents are fortunate to have an abundance of farmers’ markets nestled in our communities. These markets offer the freshest produce and goods and they also serve as community hubs, bringing together local farmers, artisans, and more. To celebrate the warmer weather, we wanted to share some resources to get the most out of the farmers’ markets this summer.

Guide to Farmers Markets

To kick things off, check out this guide to the farmers markets in Allegheny County put together by Visit Pittsburgh: Farmers Market Guide or download the Farmers Market Locator App

Pro tips for shopping at farmers' markets include: 

  • Big big reusable bags! You never know what you might find.
  • Talk to vendors! They will be a great resource for recipes, sharing their origin story, and providing local recommendations. 
  • Bring cash and bring small bills. While credit cards are becoming more accepted at farmers’ markets, it’s still a good idea to come prepared with $1’s and $5’s. 
  • Invite your friends and/or family to go with you! You might not invite your friends for a trip to Giant Eagle but a walk around the farmers’ market, buying fresh produce, a bottle of wine, baked goods, and flowers might be the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. 

Supporting Small Businesses

When you shop at farmers markets you directly support local businesses and locally sourced products. We often think of the overflowing tables of fruits and vegetables (and we love them) but you can support a wide variety of businesses at farmers markets! From locally made soaps and jewelry to bakeries, wineries, and crafts, they just might be selling at your local farmers’ market. 

Even if you don’t purchase anything from the vendors, by taking a business card, sharing a photo of the vendor on social media, or simply talking to small business owners, you’re directly supporting your neighbors, small businesses, and your community. 

Becoming a Vendor 

Farmers’ markets provide an excellent platform for small business owners to sell their goods directly to customers and build meaningful relationships with customers.

Each market has its own application process and guidelines for prospective vendors, so be sure to reach out to the market manager or visit their website for more information. The Visit Pittsburgh guide has links to each farmers market which usually has vendor information. Find the one closest to you to find their registration/application process. For some more helpful information check out the following links: 

Using SNAP/EBT at Farmers Markets

Many farmers' markets in Allegheny County participate in programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer), ensuring that low-income individuals and families can affordably purchase nutritious produce directly from local farmers in their communities. 

Utilizing these benefits at farmers' markets is easier than you might think too. Many markets have dedicated booths or information tents where you can exchange your benefits for tokens that can be used to buy eligible items from participating vendors. 

Whether you're a shopper looking for the freshest ingredients, a vendor eager to share your goods with the community, or simply someone who values supporting small businesses and building community, there's something for everyone at your local farmers market. So grab your reusable bags, put on your walking shoes, and join us this summer at Allegheny County's farmers markets!