Local farmers’ markets opening for the season

Date Published: 
June 13, 2014

Area farmers’ markets are preparing to open for the summer season.

The Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market has done so well in the past few years that Market Manager Ellen Magee said the market will now have a second location in West Fenwick, at Bayside.

“We thought there was a need, and Americana Bayside was interested in having a market. We thought this would be a good partnership,” explained Magee.

The Fenwick Island market has approximately 15 vendors, and is open at Route 1 and East Essex Sreet from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays beginning June 20, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Mondays beginning June 16 at Bayside.

“We’re a producer-only market, so they have to make or grow local ingredients. It really is a farmers’ market,” she emphasized. “We always want more and more people to find our market. We have good, fresh, local produce and baked goods, honey, jams and jelly and flowers, and it’s not been sitting on a shelf somewhere for a long time. It really comes from the local community that way.”

The Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market has 16 vendors and will be open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning this weekend.

Henry Bennett, who co-chairs the market committee, said that all the vendors, with the exception of a mushroom grower from Kennett Square, are from the Delmarva region.

“It’s a truly producers-only market,” he said. “You can be guaranteed that when you go to Bethany Beach’s farmers’ market you’re buying things from the person who grew it and only what’s in season and only what’s local. That’s what we pride ourselves on.”

Bennett, whose family owns the Bennett Orchards, said that direct customer contact is invaluable. He added that buying from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.

“When you buy things produced on a farm eight miles away, they’re putting that money back into the local community, hiring people and things like that. The money is staying in the community.”

“Farming is the No. 1 industry in the state of Delaware. May people think it’s tourism, and it’s not. It’s agriculture,” said Magee. “If the people want to continue to have agriculture as part of their livelihood and in their back yards, these farmers’ markets are the greatest opportunity for them to buy local.”

The Millville Farmers’ Market will be opening later this season, on June 19, due to a lull in produce production from this year’s poor weather.

“Mother Nature is going through menopause. It’s been hot and cold and rainy and so forth, and they just don’t have the products,” said Market Master Linda Kent. “It was too wet and too cold, and the products weren’t coming in as quickly as hoped.”

The market will run on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot next to town hall. There will be seven vendors at the market, selling goods ranging from freshly picked peaches and blueberries to local honey and baked goods.

New this year to the Millville market are a number of informational programs that will aim to educate market-goers on a variety of topics.

On June 26, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Don Long will give a talk on recycling and composting. On June 19 and Aug. 21 from 8:30 to 11 a.m., Delaware Electric Co-Op will discuss the co-op, storms and “remembering when you’re planting, if you’re near any electrical wires underground, to call first.”

On June 26, July 17 and Aug. 14, Beebe Population Health will be doing free screenings, including blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol.

“I’m trying to hit all the populations — the young and the old,” said Kent of promoting better health, from “farm-fresh and local” foods to the Beebe screenings. “It’s part of the community service. I’m chairman of the Millville Volunteers. Three years ago, we thought it would be a great outreach to provide this service as an avenue for the vendors and the people to come together.”

For more information about Delaware farmers’ markets, visit dda.delaware.gov/marketing/

Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market

Garfield Parkway & Pennsylvania Avenue, Bethany Beach
Sundays, 8 a.m. to noon, June 15 to Aug. 31

Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market

Bayside, 31254 Americana Parkway, West Fenwick
Mondays, 8 a.m. to noon, June 16 to Sept. 1
Coastal Highway & East Essex Street, Fenwick Island
Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon, June 20 to Aug. 29

Millville Farmers’ Market

Millville Town Hall, 36404 Clubhouse Road, Millville
Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 19 to Sept. 11

The Farmers’ Market at Sea Colony

Marketplace at Sea Colony, Route 1, south of Bethany Beach
Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to noon, June 25 to Aug. 27

Georgetown Farmers’ Market

Georgetown Town Park, North Bedford & Edward Streets (next to the Presbyterian Church), Georgetown
Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m., May 14 to Sept. 24

Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market

Grove Park, 501 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach
Tuesdays, noon to 4 p.m., May 6 through October

Historic Lewes Farmers Market

Lewes Historical Society, 110 Shipcarpenter Street, Lewes
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, May 10 to Sept. 27