For 10 years, Green Ridge Acres has been providing Broad Street Market-goers with an alternative to the grocery store through its farm stand and bulk foods.
They sell all-natural, organic produce as well as free-range and grass-fed meat, much of which comes straight from their 52-acre farm in Gordonville.
“If we have healthy soil, we’ll have healthy animals and healthy people,” said Ruthie Lapp, who owns the business with her husband David.
The Lapp family started out by opening a small stand at the market. However, it quickly evolved into the large farm stand it is now, offering all-natural products—a trend that has been gaining popularity, but at that time, was one-of-a-kind.
“This was a new thing for this market and for this area,” Ruthie explained. “There was nobody else in this market like this.”
After experiencing some health concerns, the Lapps did research and realized their diet was way off.
David came to learn that treating their symptoms was not enough; they needed to address the underlying issue.
“Good quality nutrient food for our bodies does about the same thing as good gas in our car,” he said.
With customer requests coming in regularly, Green Ridge Acres kept adding more products to keep shoppers returning.
On the Lapp farm, there are 27 cows and almost as many calves, which are kept on pasture in the spring, summer and fall seasons. They also have pigs and free-range chickens and turkeys, which are moved about two times each day so they always have fresh grass. Ruthie added that their soil contains no harmful fertilizers.
“That’s the easiest and best way to produce those eggs with a bright orange yolk that people love,” David said.
Not only are the chicken, beef, lamb, pork and turkey organic and grass-fed, but they’re also brought in fresh each week. The beef comes from Centre County, Pa., and is butchered locally. According to Ruthie, grass-fed cows produce beef rich in Omega 3’s. The Lapps bring their own milk-fed pork in addition to bacon and ham. Along with that, customers can purchase bone broth and meat stock. From its grass-fed cows, Green Ridge provides fresh milk and raw cow cheeses.
In addition to their meats and produce, the bulk food stand carries everything from baking products to dried fruits and nuts—all of which Ruthie hand packages. They’ve also kept on trend by adding kombucha and growing hemp, which will be harvested and used for CBD products.
“I like that it’s all-natural and made from scratch here,” said Harrisburg resident Steven Fugett, who often visits the stand with co-workers.
Ruthie Lapp said that she enjoys interacting with customers on market days and that many have been coming back regularly since opening day. She especially loves when people visit around the holidays to tell them how good their Thanksgiving turkey was.
Green Ridge Acres also supplies chicken to their neighbor, the Millworks restaurant.
“We want to share real food, not imitation,” Ruthie said. “People want organic. They want the fresh and the real.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this is true. USDA reported in August that consumer demand for organic goods is rising by double-digits. Organic products are also becoming widely available at grocery stores and other retailers.
With the continued uptick in organic-seeking customers, Green Ridge Acres hopes to cater to the needs of its customers for years to come.
It’s been 10 years already, but David sees the farm stand sticking around for the long haul.
“That I hope can go on for another 10 years,” he said.
Green Ridge Acres in located in the brick building of the Broad Street Market in Harrisburg. For more information, visit www.greenridgeacres.com .