Farmers market bringing calm, carrots to North Square

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – While the world is in a state of chaos, the North Square Farmers Market is prepared to offer some calm – and plenty of carrots.

Starting May 23, the open-air site at 50 N. Main St. in downtown Chambersburg will be open, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Nov. 21.

Vendors selling fresh produce, meat, cheese, eggs, baked goods and local wines will be set up in the parking lot next to Chambers Fort Park near Conococheague Creek. At the same time, food from some area eateries – including pizza by Falafel Shack, Eat Lotus Bowls and Pully Wissle Provisions, a food truck offering breakfast and lunch items – will be cooked on-site for hungry patrons.

Those providing the locally grown and cooked edibles might change from week to week.

“We have a variety of vendors who come to market each week, some fluctuating over the course of the month,” said Jay Eury, part of the market team. “The best way to learn who will be at market any given Saturday is by receiving our weekly emailed update.”

The big grassy hill that’s perfect for playing upon is still there, and visitors can still take advantage of ample parking nearby and easy access on foot or by bicycle from the Chambersburg Rail-Trail.

But the experience will be a bit different in an effort to ensure the safety of customers, vendors, volunteers and the community at large. The coronavirus pandemic has forced market organizers to make sure all people present stay at least six feet apart, that each household sends only one shopper and that a maximum of 40 people browse at the same time. Masks must be worn by everyone there, at least while Franklin County, Pa., remains under red phase stay-at-home orders, Eury said. The red phase means that only life-sustaining businesses are allowed to be open; schools and most child-care centers are closed; prison and congregate care is restricted; eateries are limited to carryout and delivery orders; and travel is only allowed for life-sustaining purposes.

Pets are not allowed at the market for the time being.

Customers have the option to order online directly from vendors by signing up for email updates (at, starting the Wednesday before each market day. They may pick up their items on Saturdays in a reserved parking area. Volunteers will bring the items – paid for in advance online – to people’s vehicles.

“Market will look different,” said Eury, explaining that, in a typical year, it is a place where lots of children meander with their families, some accompanied by pets, and live music is being played by groups large and small.

Sam Thrush agreed that things will be different on Saturdays at the North Square market, a project of the nonprofit Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg Inc.

“It’s (usually) a social experience, and we’re not going to be able to have that social time,” said Thrush, president of Downtown Chambersburg Inc.

But it’s still a place where visitors will have access to fresh, locally sourced foods and area vendors will be provided with customers.

“Access to food, safety and convenience, supporting our local businesses … those are our top priorities right now. And the North Square Farmers Market will provide all three,” said Eury, who has been a vendor and a customer there, and now helps lead a team of volunteers whose common goals are to promote the well-being of the community and further its economic development.

Eury is cautious, but hopeful, striving to maintain a positive vibe with the motto, “Keep calm & carrot on.”

The market has already experienced plenty of changes since opening around 2005 at Southgate Mall. It moved about three years later to the parking lot where the new Franklin County Courthouse is being built. Last year, it relocated across the street to its current space.

Eury said it also has grown steadily over the last few years, thanks to a lot of collaboration.

“It’s a team effort by volunteers” to keep the market running, Eury said. “Agriculture is essential for a safe and reliable food supply.”

To place an order, go to At that site, you also can sign up to receive weekly updates, including the names of vendors that will be at the market each week. A list of safety practices being implemented is available under the COVID-19 tab.

For more information, find North Square Farmers Market on Facebook or email [email protected].

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