Celebrate our local farmers markets
This week is National Farmers Market Week. We urge everyone to celebrate National Farmers Market Week by heading to the one of the many farmers markets or produce stands in our area.
“Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity for Marylanders to get a taste of fresh, nutritious food grown right here in the state,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “Buying local is a great way to support our state’s agriculture industry and promote sustainability. I encourage all Marylanders to celebrate this week with a visit to their local farmers market.”
According to a news release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, there is a growing demand for local produce at both the state and national level. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Farmers Market Directory started with 1,755 listings in 1994, MDA officials said. That has reportedly grown to 8,500 listings nationwide.
The MDA lists 147 farmers markets in the state. Each county has at least one. To search by county or town, go to http://marylandsbest.net.
In addition to the many produce stands across Cecil County, there are several farmers markets, including:
which is open noon to 3 p.m. every Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through August on the grounds of Trinity Methodist Church on Third Street between Bohemia Avenue and George Street. For more info, call 410-920-7018.
which is open 2 to 6 p.m. every Friday through October at 308 S. Main St. in North East (N.E. United Methodist Church parking lot next to North East Post Office). For more info, visit www.facebook.com/cecilcountyagriculture or call 443-553-3113.
which is open 2 to 6 p.m. every Thursday and Friday, and 8 am. to noon every Saturday through October at the corner of Bow and Howard streets.
which is open 3 to 7 p.m. every Friday through October at the corner of Broad Street and Roundhouse Drive in Lower Ferry Park downtown Perryville.
The MDA is asking patrons to promote Maryland’s farmers markets by sharing photos on social media using the hashtags #FarmersMarketWeek, #MarketFav and #MDsBest.
“With growing demand for fresh, local products, Maryland farmers offer a variety of fresh produce at farmers markets across the state,” said MDA Secretary Joe Bartenfelder in a statement. “These markets are an important source of income for our farm families, and provide an important link between the state’s urban and rural communities. Buying directly from the farmer gives consumers an opportunity to learn more about farming and develop trust in the integrity and accountability of our growers.”
The Farmers Market Coalition, in promoting National Farmers Market Week, offers interesting statistics about the positive benefits of local farmers markets. According to the FMC, the USDA reports that produce prices at farmers markets are lower, on average, than at grocery stores. The FMC states that proximity to farmers markets is associated with lower body mass indexes. There is no study citation for such a health claim, so take that one with a grain of salt and some nice leafy greens from the farmers market.
Another blind study citation on the FMC website states that shoppers have more than three times the number of social interactions at farmers markets than they do in grocery stores. That is a statement we support. Shopping at a county farmers market is definitely a social outing, as buyers mingle with neighbors and learn about their produce from the grower who planted it.
“As farmers markets continue to grow across America, they’re also becoming critical community assets and public spaces that bring families from all backgrounds together to socialize, purchase healthy, affordable food and support their local farmer,” FMC Executive Director Jenn Cheek said in a statement.
We agree, let’s check out our local market this weekend.