Farmers market shoppers in the know arrive at the Sunday morning Freshfarm Market in Annapolis before 10:30am, when Bob Miller of Nice Farms Creamery sells out of his famous chocolate milk.
Miller is one of 12 farmers and producers who sell at the market near City Dock. Nine hail from Maryland, two from Virginia and one from West Virginia. The market requires producers be part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They offer fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, meats, cheese, yogurt and milk, jams, pastry and bread and — a new addition this year — Maryland crab.
DNR Farmers Market
Opening Day for Deale Farmers Market
Solomons Farmers Market
Anne Arundel Medical Center Farmers Market
Clock Tower Farmers Market
North Beach Farmers Market
AACo Farmers Market
Calvert County Farmers Market
Jones Station Farmers Market
Baltimore Farmers Market
Westfield Farmers Market
AACo Farmers Market
Calvert Memorial Farmers Market
Piney Orchard Farmers Market
Market master Tara Boyle says the market has grown each year with 300 to 400 mostly Annapolis-area shoppers every week. “I have people come by kayak and boat,” Boyle says.
Every other Sunday morning, local musicians play.
Emily Mitchell and son Graham, of Eastport, were early shoppers at Nice Farms Creamery. Mitchell, who bought yogurt, appreciates the market for its “fresh produce and convenience.”
Summertime’s favorite produce — corn and peaches — are making an early appearance at Freshfarm and other markets. The first peaches came to market the first week of June. Corn appeared the following week.
Mother Nature created a perfect mix of mild winter and early spring, making corn and peaches ready just as summer gets underway. Tomatoes aren’t far behind.
“We had a mild winter and spring, so everything is a week to two weeks early. As far as weather, it couldn’t be more perfect,” explains Joe Swann of Swann’s Farm in Owings. The Swann family plants 150 acres on their Owings farm with four varieties of corn, including the very sweet Devotion.
At the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Farmers Market in Annapolis, Papa John’s Farm of Millersville had corn in early June. At the Anne Arundel County Farmers Market on Riva Road, farmers sold 300 dozen ears on the second Saturday in June.
Peaches, too, are already coming to market. Agriberry Farm of Hanover County, Virginia, and Blades Orchard of Federalsburg, Maryland, have peaches at the Freshfarm Market.
“The markets are seasonal,” explains Lisa Barge of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the county’s farmers markets. “Farmers are growing what they are selling,” she adds. Find what’s in season each month, at marylandsbest.net.
Bringing the harvest to market are the farmers, and that’s part of the appeal. You can talk with the people who grew the food. Pick up a recipe. Find out whether and how to freeze a particular vegetable.
“Farmers are constantly experimenting with new varieties, so if a consumer doesn’t see a type of melon or squash that they would like to buy, by talking to their farmer they might be able to get it planted next year,” says Barge.
Strengthening the link between shopper and farmer brings us fresher food earlier and in more variety. It works for the farmer, too.
Swann Farms, primarily a wholesale business, sells at only one farmers market, the North Beach Friday night market, which accounts for a mere one percent of the family’s business. So why bother?
“It is a good way to stay connected to the community and in contact with our customers who are good patrons through farm stands or a grocery store,” Joe Swann says. “Friday night we see our customers face to face.”
Each day of the week but Monday, you’ll meet farmers and find the freshest flavors of the season at farmers markets throughout Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.