The Delaware 2016 farmers' market season had more than $2.9 million in direct sales, the Delaware Department of Agriculture announced Feb. 13.

“Delaware’s farmers’ markets play an important role in providing delicious fruits, vegetables and value-added products to both rural and urban communities across our state,” said DDA’s Marketing Specialist David Smith. “We really want the farmers and the customers to get to know each other so they can have a conversation about food and how it impacts the community where the market runs.”

Sales from all 25 community-run markets totaled $2,901,081.

Fresh produce made up 55 percent of total sales, with the remainder coming from products such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs or honey.

Delaware farmers' markets are run at the local level, by municipalities, business groups, farmers or market associations, with the Department of Agriculture providing support and marketing assistance.

The 2017 market season will begin in April; most markets start their operations in May, June and July. There is currently one winter market open for the season, in Millsboro. A list of the 2016 markets is at de.gov/buylocal and will be updated by mid-March for 2017.

Farmers and others interested in becoming a vendor, or community groups interested in starting a local market can call 698-4625 or email davidm.smith@state.de.us.