Fashionable Farmers at Penn Street Market; Robert Hassler Performs Aug. 15

Submitted photo Fashionable Farmers from Gayatri Wellness include: from left, Laura Scargle, CSA coordinator, Sarah Edmunds, farm stand assistant; Lucine Sihelnik, founder; and Sharon Edmunds, business and finance coordinator. .

Gayatri Wellness brings fashionable farming and good food to the Penn Street Market every Friday from June through October between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. New to the outdoor farmers market located in the 800 block of Penn Street in Reading, Gayatri Wellness is a newly-founded community organization in Berks County.

“This past May, Gayatri Wellness celebrated its first year of providing wellness and self- care to our community members through yoga and sustainable agriculture,” says Lucine Sihelnik, founder. “Our organizational intent is to engage and educate our fellow community members to live happy, healthy lifestyles.”

Penn Street Market has provided that opportunity as Gayatri Wellness has joined as a vendor. They also participate at two other city markets hosted by Berks Agricultural Resource Network at Willow Street and GoggleWorks.

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“Gayatri Wellness has worked hard to provide food access to three neighborhoods in the city of Reading and other locations in the Greater Reading Area,” says Sihelnik. “The Penn Street Market is a perfect location to bring locally-grown food from the surrounding agriculturally rich areas of our Berks County family farms directly to the city.”In addition to a sustainable farm in northern Berks County, Gayatri Wellness has fostered cooperative partnerships with other local family farms, artisans, dairies, bakers, coffee roasters, bee keepers and more. “Our requirements to join the co-op partnership are simple: you must be local and practice organic and/or sustainable methods of growth and production,” explains Sihelnik. “This year, we are excited to be partners with: the Carles’ Family Farm, Leesport; Diabetic Friendly Foods, Inc., Bernville; Dove Song Dairy, Bernville; Griesemer Beekeeping, Wernersville; Esbenshades, Lilitz & Mohnton; Hobo Ed LLC, Adamstown; Meadow Mountain Farm, Robesonia; Mr. John’s Real Foods, Wernersville; Phoebe’s Oure Foods, Bowmansville; Spring Creek Farm, Robesonia; Stouts Wonderful Good Market, Adamstown; The Rustic Bunch, Leesport; Weaver’s Orchard, Morgantown; and West View Farm, Leesport.

“The Penn Street market gives us the ability to let our community members market,” adds Sihelnik. “It provides a way for the residents to meet their farmers, ask questions about produce, seasonal eating, cooking, and how and where their food is grown. It provides a way to eat fresh, healthy, affordable real food with the financial assistance of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program. It helps provide an income for our family farmers to support their families and business. It allows a beautification of Reading’s Market Square area with a sense of stewardship for the city, the county, and our beautiful bountiful Berks County.”

Other Penn Street Market vendors include: Railside Produce, Reinholds; Country Lane Poultry, Denver; Sunrise Farm, Oley; Bee-utiful Harvest/ Griesemer Beekeeping, Wernersville; Bog Turtle Creek Farm, Reading; Josefina’s Bakery, Reading; and the Perk-Up Truck, Topton. Shoppers can still get a canvas shopping bag with a minimum $5 purchase of produce or honey at the Penn Street Market, courtesy of the Berks Agricultural Resource Network which sponsors the market.

Robert Hassler will be providing Music in the Market on Friday. This week’s restaurant is Mi Casa Su Casa from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Penn Street Market has a wireless electronic benefits machine so customers can use Supplemental Nutrition Access Program funds and other cash assistance on eligible food. For more information about Penn Street Market, visit the website at www.pennstreetmarket.org, or call 610-898-5482.

From Berks County Agricultural