A Trip to Scranton's Co-Op Farmers Market

By Stephanie Yeager
Staff Writer

Walking down the pavilion, I see the brightest colored fruits and vegetables I have ever seen, as well as vegetables I didn’t even know existed. When I asked what they were, the vendors were so polite and extremely knowledgeable. Everything was so fresh and crisp. There was a distinct smell in the air, it was the smell of country living. The fresh flowers were absolutely stunning, their colors vibrant and the fragrance from them was sensational. We walked around a little bit just taking in all the bright colors on the gloomy damp back drop of the day. Just being at the Scranton Co-Operative Farmers Market brightened the day. After eating the best Apple Cider Doughnut, I decided to get down to business and figure out why all these people were here outside in the rain: instead of going inside of Price Chopper and shopping.

Speaking with James Longo, a customer of the Scranton Co-Op Farmers Market for over twenty years, he put it in great perspective, “Just look, it’s better than going to Price Chopper. It’s all right here, and it’s fun,” he said. It all started with his parents bringing him and now he comes to do his shopping here.  Linda Burbeau, a vendor who also has been coming to the Farmers Market since she was kid, had her face light up as she spoke about the Market.  Linda’s grandfather was one of the few Northeast Farmers who started the Farmers Market 70 years ago. One of the major advantages of the Farmers Market is the better quality of food and fresh produce, she said.

Walking up and down, there was one stand that caught my eye. There were three gentlemen working this stand, called Broyan Farm, and even in the gloomy weather they were all smiling and having a great time. Mr. Albert J. Broyan was the man in charge. Albert was invited up to the Farmers market approximately 30 years ago and he has been here ever since. When asked why he decided to join the Scranton Co-Op Farmers Market he told me, “Well it’s all I know. All I know is how to grow fruits and vegetables. It’s all I did all my life.” Talking to him really showed me how much this Farmers Market impacts the lives of everyone around us. It gives the farmers an outlet to sell their produce but at the same time the consumers are getting the better end of the deal. “They are buying farm fresh produce, not something that is shipped in from China, Peru or Taiwan or Indonesia. It’s grown in the USA and probably only a few miles away,” said Mr. Broyan. “It’s as fresh and wholesome of food as you can possibly get, and the prices are very reasonable. The supermarkets, they try to imitate us, but they’ll never imitate us because we have fresh quality and it is fresh everyday, where a lot of things at the supermarkets are shipped in from miles away. They have a few local products, but if it is not available locally they get it wherever it’s available. We bring it directly from our farm.”

But there are many more advantages to the Scranton Co-Operative Farmers Market. Buying locally grown food allows you the opportunity to support local agriculture. You support the farmers in your area and your money stays local. When you buy from the Farmers Market you are helping the environment as well. It cuts back on the pollution from shipping foods half-way around the world and from state to state. At the Farmers Market, you find a large variety of fresh, organic produce at lower prices than the local grocery stores. The food you’re buying from the farmers is most definitely fresher; it is grown locally and the produce is picked just at the peak of its ripeness. There is absolutely no way around the fact that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is great for your health.  I think the most important factor has to be how much fun it is to go to the Scranton Co-Operative Farmers Market.

The Scranton Co-Operative Farmers Market is located off of Albright Ave., in Scranton and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:00 noon-7:00pm, until Thanksgiving.

Directions from Marywood University:

Head towards College Ave., turn right onto Evelyn St ( it’s the last right hand turn on Adams Ave), take a left on to N. Washington Ave., go through the first set of lights. At the second set of lights turn right onto Green Ridge Ave. Make a left hand turn onto Albright Ave.,  and then a left onto Lawall St.