DOVER — With a record season behind them, Delaware’s farmers’ markets are gearing up for another year.
Over the next three months 23 community-run farmers’ markets will open, selling Delaware produce and other farm-fresh goods.
“Farmers’ markets are a great way to connect with the people who grow your food, building relationships and strengthening communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “For farmers, they’re a wonderful opportunity to reach new customers and have some great conversations around agriculture’s importance and the strength of our family farms.”
The season begins April 7, with the opening of the Garden Shack Farmers’ Market near Lewes.
The Milton Farmers’ Market opens April 22, and the Fresh Friday Farmers’ Market in Wilmington opens April 29.
Twelve markets open in May and eight in June.
A farmers’ market directory, complete with locations, hours and dates of operation, is at the Delaware Buy Local Guide at de.gov/buylocal.
The 2015 season set a record, with more than $3 million in sales, up more than $390,000 over 2014 and up ninefold since 2007.
Nine markets are offering Electronic Benefits Transfer transactions, allowing families to purchase local produce and food items as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
All community-run farmers’ markets are operated at the local level, by municipalities, business groups, farmers or market associations, with the Department of Agriculture providing support and marketing assistance.
Farmers and others interested in becoming a vendor, or community groups interested in starting a local market, can contact Department of Agriculture marketing specialist David Smith at (302) 698-4625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.