Penn State College of Medicine Alumni Update

Blood, Sweat and Strawberries

Nittany Lion at Hershey Farmer's Market

Even the Nittany Lion can't pass up fresh, local produce!

Although first- and second-year students have taken a slight breather for the summer, the activity on campus is alive and well. Actually, very well.

Back in 2010, Daniel George, assistant professor of humanities, and Wade Edris, senior research associate, opened the Farmers Market in Hershey, a wellness-focused market near—and with support from—Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Four years later, the market, which sits across from the Hershey Center for Applied Research, boasts approximately 30 vendors, three community wellness booths, and one small but lively concert tent (unfortunately, they have yet to book the immortal Blood, Sweat & Tears).

Craving some Sassy Wheat Ale pepper glaze, made with Tröegs DreamWeaver beer? Head over to Pepperelly, where you can purchase a host of all-natural pepper glazes and spreads. Strawberry season is in full swing, but when it starts to wane, take a stroll over to Brogue Hydroponics, a family-owned company that specializes in pesticide-free, hydroponic, out-of-season produce (and in-season produce, too). Finally, a trip to the market wouldn't be complete without some fresh-aged goats' milk cheese from Amazing Acres Goat Dairy. Try the Banon, a small, semi-firm cheese wrapped with brandy-soaked grape leaves—it's full of spirit.

Beyond delicious, locally-sourced fare, however, there are enough wellness checkpoints to make you want to board a plane. The first booth is "Know Your Numbers," where you can participate in free health screenings (blood pressure, BMI, osteoporosis, vision, and skin cancer risk). Volunteers from roughly 40 of the College and Medical Center's departments take turns providing these services.

The second booth, "Preventive Health," shares important information about physical fitness, diabetes management, head injury prevention, child safety, breast cancer awareness, and more. Also featured at this booth are the fruits and vegetables of the week and recipe cards for dishes using seasonal produce. Finally, the "Community Programming" booth brings together non-medical specialists who present on a variety of wellness topics, including holistic health, cooking, acupuncture, yoga, and aromatherapy.

As far as giving back to kids in the community, the market's "Prescription Produce" program is its newest outreach initiative. Pediatricians refer low-income children to the market with "prescriptions" in hand—vouchers for free fresh fruits and veggies. Daniel George and Wade Edris also apply for grants, which enable them to purchase and deliver vendor items to community organizations that work with underserved and food-insecure populations.

If all this isn't enough to whet your appetite—or if you weren't really that hungry to begin with—make sure to at least check out the summer concert series. A few weeks ago, Crossing Abbey Road made Beatles fans swoon amid strawberry fields (or, booths) forever. With names like Tumbling Bones or The Jellybricks, the remaining lineup (six bands in all) is sure to entertain. Click here for the full concert schedule.

Happy Gathering!

Farmers Market in Hershey
Every Thursday, now through the end of October
2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.