Farmers market seeing uptick in business as fall season begins
SALISBURY, Md. – Looking around the Camden Avenue Farmers Market, the signs of fall are definitely present. Mums, apples, and more entice shoppers while farmers prepare for autumn. “We’ve been seeing that normal summer lull that we usually get, and now people are coming back The university’s open again, so here we go. We’re getting ready for, hopefully, a good strong fall season,” said Bob Miller with Nice Farms Creamery.
Miller says the cooler temperatures are welcome at his dairy farm in Federalsburg. “We have an all Jersey herd, and one of the things they’re known for is high components. Lots of protein, calcium, and butter fats in the milk. The heat really did a number on them,” said Miller. “Now I want to try and get some of that cream back in the milk. So, we’re already in the mid fours, hoping to go into the five percent range in the next 30 days or so.”
And Jamisyn Molchan, who works with Baywater Farms, says they’re also keeping up with seasonal demands. “It’s starting to pick up. I think everybody’s getting back into their routine and everybody’s back in school,” said Molchan. “Lettuce does really poorly in the heat and everything. So, a hydro house helps a lot during the summer with having constant lettuce.”
And on thing is for certain: people can’t get enough of that farm fresh goodness. “All of our stuff at the farmers market isn’t too different of a price from the things you can get at the grocery store. It’s definitely fresher and healthier, and it tastes so much better,” said Molchan.
But, Miller says the pressure from COVID-19 was felt at his farm. He says he’s been dealing with an increase in prices for supplies like milk jugs and dairy containers. “We’re not just a farm. We’re also a manufacturer. So, we’ve been having all sorts of problems, from getting medicine from the vet, to getting cleaning supplies for the creamery and dairy going,” said Miller.
That’s why Miller says the relationship between farmer and consumer is more important than ever. He says farmers markets have proven to be a reliable source of nutrition when other sources and supply chains buckled. “You saw how vulnerable big box stores can be. Things can run out. That’s the wonderful thing about Salisbury, is that you’re literally surrounded by some of the finest farmland in Maryland,” said Miller.
As Miller puts it, in an age where you usually don’t get the chance to look your farmer in the eye, and automated check out is abound, showing that little bit of support to the men and women who feed you can go such a long way. “Without support, there is not Camden Avenue Farmers Market. So, definitely keep coming out. We really need folks to be steady and strong and supportive,” said Miller.
The Camden Avenue Farmers Market is every Tuesday from 2:30 to 6 pm. It’s located in the parking lot of the Asbury United Methodist Church.