Farmer's markets continuing to sprout up in the area

The Millville Town Council voted Tuesday night to hold a farmers’ market this summer, taking place on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Millville joins Bethany Beach, Millsboro, Sea Colony, Selbyville and others in the area as locations where shoppers can get their goods directly from the farmers who grow or produce them.

This is a good trend on so many levels. Our local farmers have the opportunity to sell directly to the consumer, which gives them a good opportunity to create loyal customers everywhere they go.

The consumer gets fresh fruits, vegetables and more while enjoying a friendly outdoor environment — particularly in the summer, when many of the customers will be here on vacation and want to spend as much time as possible outside. Other businesses in the area can get a boost because the farmers’ markets draw people in who might not have normally come that way, and the environment gets a little break because the farmers’ goods don’t have to be transported long distances.

A well-advertised farmers’ market can draw people here from Ocean City, Md., Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, not to mention all the inland towns. In the summer months, the period our farmers have to really make their money for the year, that could be the difference between a good year and a very hard one. Those people will often stop at local shops and restaurants, as well. If you drive 30 to 60 minutes to go somewhere, don’t you try to take care of a few other things while you’re out?

The Millsboro Downtown Partnership, a group tasked with the job of improving the downtown area of that town and bringing people to Millsboro, recently took control of that town’s farmers’ market. They know that bringing in people to have a good experience can only benefit what they are trying to accomplish in the big picture. They are getting great cooperation from town officials in regards to licenses and signage, because the Town knows how important the farmers’ markets are, too.

This area has three big pluses going for it — the beach, the poultry industry and farmers. We have long taken advantage of the beach, as evidenced by our strength in tourism and the service industries, and poultry has been a job-creator in this community for decades. While roadside produce stands have long been a proud staple of the area, one-stop farmers’ markets can only boost that entire local industry. This is win-win-win.