Those who missed opening day of the Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market a few weeks ago will get another chance on Friday, as Fenwick Island’s market is one where people have a second chance each week to grab goodies that are fresh off the farm. It’s open both Mondays and Fridays in the summer, from 8 a.m. to noon.
New vendors this year, said Ellen Magee, manager for the Fenwick Island market, include Pure Harvest Farm, with grain-fed chicken and eggs; Chapel Country Creamery, with yogurt and cheese; and Tumbleweed and Eddie’s, a natural dog treat company.
Magee said they will also feature the Restaurant at Nage — offering food items from the Rehoboth Beach restaurant that holds farm-to-table events each week in the summer highlighting local farmers and often uses fresh local produce in their dishes.
Other vendors include Magee Farms, Bennett Orchards, Hudson’s Produce, Good Earth Market and Organic Farm, Sap’s Pudding, Pasquilini’s Bakery, Celtic Acres Farm, Greenbranch Farm, Wisteria Lane Farm/Sister Sweets and Tout de Suite Patisserie.
The Fenwick Island Farmers Market is among two dozen farmers’ markets up and down the state, including one in nearby Bethany Beach on Sunday mornings, the farmer’s market at the Sea Colony marketplace on Wednesday mornings and the Millville Farmer’s Market on Thursday mornings.
According to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the farmers’ markets provide a significant economic boost to Delaware agriculture and have grown each year. Last year, farmers’ markets sold $1.96 million worth of goods at 29 locations; the 2011 season featured 16 market sites and brought in $1.8 million; and the 2010 season had 14 sites and $1.3 million in sales.
“Each of these markets helps bring people face-to-face with their local farmers, which broadens Delawareans’ understanding of agriculture and deepens their appreciation for farmers’ contributions,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee in a statement. “They are a joy to visit and see how consumers and farmers learn from each other.”
The state’s farmers’ markets have also begun pilot projects accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in some locations, offering the freshest of foods to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. Locally, the Historic Lewes Farmers’ Market is the only market currently accepting SNAP.
Magee said Fenwick’s two-day-a-week approach helps to satisfy both vacationers, many who come into town on Saturdays and Sundays, by offering something Monday morning, and locals, who can pick up things for the weekend at the Friday market.
Either way, the food has almost always traveled fewer miles than the consumer buying it and hasn’t had much time to lose its fresh taste or quality.
“A farmers’ market is a good way for people to get the freshets fruits and veggies around,” said Magee. “They are picked that day.”
For more information on the market, visit fenwickislandfarmersmarket.com online. The market is located in the vacant PNC Bank lot on Coastal Highway at Essex Street on the ocean side.