Monroe Farmers Market
By: Kevin Conroy
Boodle up the kids, pull up on Sarah Street in Stroudsburg. Drop a few coins in the meter; you’ll want to stay a while. Head for the Courthouse, around front, around to Courthouse Square. Here is where all the abundance of our region is on display, nestled under colorful tents surrounding Memorial Park. The street has become an outdoor scene filled with friendly music, kids running on the grass, wagging dogs. This is a happy place. A relaxed Saturday morning place. A place where you can bring the kids, young and old alike. It’s the Monroe Farmers Market.
What a fragrance! Handmade soaps rich from goatmilk, herbs, and honey. And four bakers, each specializing in something different. In front of one table children chant, “Butter roll! Butter roll!” (Dad likes the peasant bagels.) Across the circle a stand selling fresh produce and chicken and eggs also carries rustic artisan breads from a wood-fired stone oven. Practically next door another baker sells wonderful pastries and quiches, but after that Mom wants to pick up brownies and a blueberry crumb pie from the gluten-free baker. Look at these yummy jams and jellies. All homemade? Real honeycomb and raw spring honey straight from the hive, and homemade maple syrup, too? Fresh relishes and pickles nearby…
Oh, look, across from the handmade doggie treats, next to the woman playing an acoustic guitar, the Monroe Farmers Market stand. Hmm… they accept SNAP benefits. Good to know.
What’s Kohlrabi? Your farmer knows.
She’ll tell you all about it.
As a ravishing flower arrangement is being put together for you it’s time for a cup of fresh brewed coffee from one of the roasters. Let the kids climb on the cannons, enjoy a breakfast sandwich made of ingredients culled from the market, even the eggs, the bread, and the cheese. Cheese! From the dairy farmer that makes cream-top yogurt so luscious it needs nothing but a bit of fruit. An orchard with plums and summer apples and juicy, juicy peaches is ready to help with that. Blueberries are coming into season, along with cherries and strawberries.
There is such an abundance of fresh, beautiful produce here. Sweet corn and rainbow chard, peppers, eggplant, golden beets, all types of tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and garlic. Spinach and lettuce, radicchio, kale. The foraged boletes and chanterelles are coming in, and the cultivated wild mushrooms are never out of season. Row upon row of vegetable and herb sets are ready for planting. Take some home so the children can see them grow.
Sip libations for later. (Way later.) There are apple wines, artisan ales and hard cider, even chili lime hard cider. Feel the soft alpaca pelts and home-spun yarn from pasture raised sheep. Pastured pork, lamb, chicken and eggs are available as well.
Two hours have flown by, two hours without video games or TV. Though the market is open till noon, you’ve been here since eight, when they opened, and there are other things to get done today. As you load your treasures into the SUV you wonder: why haven’t you done this before.
Monroe Farmers Market
Courthouse Square in Downtown Stroudsburg
Open Saturdays 8am – Noon • May through October