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The Farmer’s Market filled Fresh to Table Bags for the MCIS Cooking Club

Jennifer Marsh

The Mercer County Farmer’s Market partnered with Mercer County Community Endowment, united Way and the Mercer County Cooperative Extension office to provide fresh produce bags and recipes to the Intermediate School’s Cooking club this past Wednesday. 

“The Program is called Fresh to Table,” said Jessica Bessin, agent for horticulture for the extension office. “These organizations came together to in their initiatives to give fresh produce to children.”

Thirteen bags full to the brim with farm eggs,  vegetables, recipes and even vouchers for future supplies were given out Wednesday to the members of the Mercer County Intermediate School’s cooking club.

“We decided to have the program run through the summer,” said Bessin. “They will collect another bag in July and August.”

Elijah Brown, a soon to be sixth grader, was excited about his bag.

“The club helps teach me to cook,” said Brown.  “We school was in session I cooked for my family and other families.”

Brown said his favorite dish was the pumpkin muffins but said he is willing to try the vegetable stir-fry recipe sent in his bag.

“I will try to make it,” said Brown. “I will try anything.”

Vegetable Chicken 

Stir Fry

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 pound chicken thighs

• 2 teaspoons garlic powder

• 8 ounces of sugar snap peas, wash and string if needed

• 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

• 1/4 cup orange juice

• 1 teaspoon honey

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 red or orange bell pepper sliced


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add chicken. Sprinkle garlic powder over the pieces. Brown each side for about two minutes flipping chicken occasionally.  In a small bowl stir together soy sauce, orange juice, honey and black pepper. Pour over chicken. Add sugar snap peas and bell pepper to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until peas and bell pepper softens. Chicken must reach 165 degrees to be fully cooked. Serve over rice. 

The Mercer County Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a new pre-order system as well as social distancing guidelines for regular shoppers.

“The Market is open and our members are bringing home grown produce, fresh meat and other items every week,” said Mary McCaffery, president of the Mercer County Farmer’s Market Association. “We have a pre-order system that is updated every Tuesday and several new safety guidelines we have to follow.”

McCaffry said in addition to making the tables 8-feet apart, each vendor has a double table set up to separate the vendor from the customer. Directional shopping guidelines create a circle shopping experience as well as hand sanitizer available at every booth.  Customers are encouraged to wear a mask to follow state guidelines.

“We like other places are asking people to limit the number of shoppers that come to the market, said McCaffery. “We also have to adhere to the ‘you touch it you buy’ produce rules set by the state.”

McCaffrey said there is a video on how to do the pre-orders for the market on the Facebook page.

For more information follow the market Facebook page or call the Mercer County Cooperative Extension at 734-4378. 

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