Farmers' Market inSalisbury, MD. The rains came down and everybody was late to the Farmers' Market Saturday morning. No matter! When the Gardening Grannies finally arrived around 10AM, the place was bustling.
If you've never been, the Farmers' Market in Salisbury is located just behind the Avery Hall Insurance Company, just one block south of Main Street and on the west side of Route 13. If you come into Salisbury on Route 13, when you get to Main Street, just look for the green and white signs. It's very easy to find and there is free parking at both ends of the open air market.
The broad center aisle was filled with shoppers, young and….uh…mature. Little kids ooh'd and aah'd at the melons and flowers and petted the friendly dog accompanying another shopper as they (the kids, not the dog) scampered about enjoying the freedom of shopping in the open air.
A Farmers' Market is lovely to look at with vehicles parked neatly in two rows with their cargo loads facing the center aisle of the market, edged with tent and tarp-like structures protecting the farmers and their bounty from the elements. Carefully arranged on the tables are baskets of all sizes filled with eggplants, colorful peppers, potatoes, onions, melons, cantaloupes, peaches, lettuces, corn and tomatoes. There are herbs and herb plants, pastries (you've got to try the ricotta pound cake), jellies and jams. Often, there are varieties of fresh breads. You can find birdhouses made from gourds, flowers and flower plants.
The key word for a Farmers' Market is fresh. For this reason, the offerings vary from Saturday to Saturday as the peak seasons come and go. The Gardening Grannies believe that there are four main keys to successful shopping at a Farmers' Market:
1) Come with an open mind and shop for whatever looks good
2) Bring your own reusable fabric market bag(s)
3) Bring smaller bills ($1's, $5's and $10's are good) since you will most likely be buying from a variety of vendors
4) It is generally a good idea to get there early for the widest selection. The Salisbury Farmers' Market is open Saturdays from 8AM to 1PM.
While the Grannies love the downtown Salisbury Market, there is a Farmers' Market in or near every community on Delmarva. Some of them are on different days and the hours vary widely. Add to that all of the roadside stands and you can see why we didn't attempt to provide a list. Each market is different and each offers its own specialties, but the key word with all of them is fresh. Oh, and did we mention? Since there is no middle man, the prices are extremely reasonable.
OK, Grannies, next week, it's off your rockers and into the Farmers' Market for some of the freshest produce anywhere. Who knows? It might turn the most finicky eater at your house into a veggie lover!
The Gardening Grannies are a group of avid and Master Gardeners who live, love and garden on the Delmarva Peninsula. You can reach them with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.