Welcome to May—the kickoff to seven months of Pittsburgh farmers’ markets. Starting May 11, there are open-air markets seven days a week. We can’t wait to take in the sights, smells and tastes of the just-picked herbs, veggies and fruits, the locally harvested and extracted honey, the locally made cheese and yogurt, baked goods and the full abundance of the growing season.

What a moment. Here’s a lineup of outdoor markets found within the city limits:

Market Square Farmers' Market. Photo by Renee Rosensteel.
Market Square Farmers’ Market. Photo by Renee Rosensteel.
Market Square Farmers’ Market. Photo by Renee Rosensteel.

Market Square Farmers’ Market & Lunchtime Concert Series begins May 14 and runs every Thursday from 10am-2pm through Oct 29.

Now in its 11th season, the popular Market Square Farmers’ Market is a spread of more than 30 vendors, including more than 10 produce farmers—many organic—including Enon Valley Garlic, which sells more than 20 varieties of garlic, and Edible Earth Farm, which sells ginger, mushrooms, organic veggies and pastured chicken.

“We’re really pleased when the farmers’ market returns,” says Leigh White, vp at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “It’s one of the highlights of summer in Pittsburgh—workers, residents and visitors say how much they love the vitality and vibrancy of the market.”

There’s a creamery serving up organic raw milk and cheese, yogurt and ice cream. You can try small-batch hummus, olive oil, honey, dips, jams, and salsa. For the four-leggeds in your life, there’s homemade pet treats. For your sweetheart, freshly cut flowers.

Those who want lunch can visit vendors who sell ready-to-eat Greek food and homemade pierogies. Billy’s Smoke House has a speciality sandwich each week. “On a white board, they write this week’s sandwich–and next week’s,” says White. “I always try and remember when I see that next’s week’s choice is keilbasa—it’s incredible.”

You can choose from an ample selection of baked and sweet goods like berry pies, cookies, banana bread, scones, fudge and stone hearth breads. There’s homemade ice pops with fresh fruits and just-made juices.

Also, it’s the stop for Angora goat yarn and beeswax candles, if you’re in the market. If you’re inspired to grow your own veggies, live plants are for sale.

From 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. each week, there will be music. Performances include acoustic music, jazz, Blues Festival performers, the Navy Band, opera singers and a barbershop quartet. “The music is really that added piece that gets people to stay, hang out and enjoy,” says White.

East Liberty -- overview
Citiparks’ East Liberty Farmers’ Market
Citiparks’ East Liberty Farmers’ Market

Citiparks kicks off their season on May 11. Their markets—found in neighborhoods throughout the city—will sell farm fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheese and baked goods. Some locations will sell flowers and live plants. Call 412-422-6523 with questions.

Veggies available this time of year include: greens such as kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, arugula, rhubarb and collard greens. You can pick up garlic scapes, green onions, fiddleheads—maybe even stinging nettle. There’s stalks of asparagus and broccoli. You’ll find both sugar snap peas and snow peas. Roots like carrots, parsnips, radishes and beets. Herbs and hothouse tomatoes, peppers, cukes and eggplants.

Here’s the lineup:

Mondays in East Liberty begins May 11, 3:30-7:30. Runs through Nov. 23 at Station St. and North Euclid Ave. parking lot. Zip 15206.

Tuesdays in South Side begins May 12, 3:30-7:30. Runs through Nov. 24 at 18th and Carson streets’ parking lot. Zip 15203.

Wednesdays in Carrick begins June 10, 3:30-7:30. Runs through Nov. 25 at Carrick Shopping Center, Brownsville Rd. and Parkfield St. Zip 15210.

Thursdays in Beechview starts June 11, 4-7pm. Runs through Oct. 22 at Broadway and Beechview avenues’ parking lot. Zip 15216.

Fridays in Downtown Pittsburgh kicks off May 15, 9am-1pm. Runs through Nov. 6 at the City-County Building portico on Grant St. Zip 15219.

Fridays in the North Side begins May 15, 3:30-7:30pm. Runs through Nov. 20 at East Park, East Ohio St. and Cedar Ave. Zip 15212.

Sundays in Squirrel Hill begins May 31, 9am-1pm. Runs through Nov. 1 at Beacon and Bartlett streets’ parking lot  (behind the old Gullifty’s). Zip 15217.

East Liberty Farmers' Market. Photo credit John  Colombo.
East Liberty Farmers’ Market. Photo credit John Colombo.
East Liberty Farmers’ Market. Photo credit John Colombo.

Other farmer’s markets within the city limits:

Wednesdays, Garfield Community Farm’s Farm Stand begins June 3, 3:30-7:30 pm. Runs through September. Valley View Presbyterian Church parking lot, Aiken Ave. and Black St. Zip 15206. Call 412-979-7764.

Fridays, Oakland Farmers’ Market begins June 5, 3-6 pm. Runs through October at the Schenley Plaza. Zip 15213. Call 412-682-7275.

Saturdays, Bloomfield Saturday Market begins May 30, 9am-1pm. Runs through Nov. 7 at 5050 Liberty Ave. Closed July 4. Zip 15224. New this year? Sturgess Orchard’s hard cider. Call 412-681-8800.

Saturdays, Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market kicks off June 6, 1-4pm. Runs through Oct. 31 at the Allegheny Bank parking lot, 5137 Butler Street. Zip 15201. Call 412-802-7220.

Saturdays, the Strip District. Farmers@Firehouse begins May 9, 9am-1pm. Run through Nov. 21 in the parking lot of Bar Marco, 2216 Smallman Street. Zip 15222

And don’t forget the Pittsburgh Public Market, open year-round. Wednesdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2401 Penn Ave. Zip 15222. Call 412-281-4505.

Enjoy the season!

Lauri Gravina

Woods wanderer who was an an editor at New England’s regional magazine, the research director of a Colorado newspaper and a farm hand in Vermont before returning to Pittsburgh to write about and explore her hometown.