Farmstead Farmer’s Market, at 1976 Laudermilch Road, Palmyra, combines a bit of the rural farm stand with the variety of vendors found at an urban farmer’s market.

This year-round market is built on a 5-acre farmette adjacent to farmland, and it’s owned by brothers Lloyd and Joel Umberger. Launched in a restored barn in 2007, it was expanded to a second building a year later.

The sign in front of the farmer’s market. (Provided photo)

“We were raised on a farm — growing our own produce, chickens and beef. When I married and started raising a family, I started my own garden. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh produce from the garden,” Lloyd Umberger said.

“We have a great spot, so Joel and I decided to start a farmer’s market. We focus on local vendors — it was our focus when we opened, and it’s still our focus today.”

Farmstead Farmer’s Market takes its name from the fact that it was part of an old farm. The farmer’s market boasts 17 vendors, including vendors in a food court. Their offerings include produce; meats and cheeses; fresh poultry, alpaca yarn, clothing and crafts; gourmet coffee and teas; retro candy and hand-crafted chocolates; wine from a local vineyard; bulk foods, spices and snacks; fresh egg rolls; plant-based, eco-friendly personal care and cleaning products; seafood and ready-to-eat sandwiches, omelets and more; and baked goods and breads.

“There’s a sense of community here. We have a lot of long-time customers and vendors,” Umberger said.

Specialty chocolates for graduates and Father’s Day from Chocolates by Tina Marie. (Provided photo)

One of those longtime vendors is Sandi’s Breads, operated by Sandi and Tom Smith.

“We have some customers who have been coming to us since the market opened in 2007, and we have others who have discovered us more recently,” Sandi Smith said. “We’ve established relationships with customers; we share milestones in their lives and share milestones in our lives with them.”

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For example, she and Tom were recently invited to a family wedding by a customer who’s been coming to them on market for about 10 years.

Smith said one of the Umbergers’ goals was to build a community. She said there’s a seating area where people can relax and chat with one another. “We often see neighbors greeting one another or friends who haven’t seen each other in a while reconnecting,” she said.

She said customers have provided suggestions for new products such as varieties of muffins. One of the items offered by Sandi’s Breads is home-made croissants.

“In my weekly newsletter I asked people what new product they’d like to see. One suggestion was almond croissants, so we added those. Some of the suggestions I’ve never heard of like lemon sponge cake, but I did some research and found a recipe. I’ve also been asked to make shoofly pie. We’ve learned a lot over the years by, and have benefited from, customer requests,” she said.

A hallmark of Sandi’s Breads is whole grains, and the fact that they mill flour used to create the baked goods on a daily basis.

“We’ve had customers that are interested in the process of making bread; some of them ask how we make bread, and we’ve had some people come in at 4 a.m. to bake with Tom,” Smith said.

“Our atmosphere provides a vehicle for people to learn about where their food comes from in a casual way. It’s educational, but in a casual, not in your face way,” added market manager Lauren Walmer.

Umberger said Farmstead Farmer’s Market and its vendors also support community organizations.

“We support the community that supports us, and our vendors are also good at giving back. One example is Masser’s Produce, which donates items to the area food bank on a weekly basis,” he explained.

The farmers market also hosts events such as an Easter egg hunt. Umberger said during anniversary events and some other special events, community organizations such as the local fire company and the area food bank are invited to set up a booth to distribute information and collect donations.

Farmstead Farmer’s Market is open Fridays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round. Walmer said the farmer’s market is always looking for unique vendors. Information about events, vendors and their weekly specials can be found on the market’s website,, and on Facebook.

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Rochelle A. Shenk is a writer with over two decades experience. Her work appears in regional business publications and lifestyle magazines as well as area newspapers. She writes about business and municipal sectors as well as arts and entertainment, human interest features, and travel and tourism. Rochelle...