Summer ushers in crop of fresh food just down the street

While Delaware is home to a variety of attractions that draw thousands of visitors each year, a sure sign of the summer season is a return of the many farmers markets and produce stands in communities from Wilmington to Selbyville.

Farming is a top occupation in Delaware, with the state’s 2,500 farms taking up 39 percent of the state’s land, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Delaware is also first in the nation for the number of acres that have been preserved for farmland.

While grain corn, with a value of more than $90 million, and soybeans, with a value of more than $59 million, are the top crops produced, sweet corn, with a value of more than $16.5 million, and melons, with a value of more than $11 million, are also among the state’s top crops.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the annual aggregate (direct, indirect, and induced) economic contribution of agriculture to Delaware’s economy is estimated at nearly $8 billion. The annual value of agricultural production is over $1 billion.

The value of agricultural products sold annually directly to consumers is over $3.5 million.

Kent and Sussex counties are in the top 2 percent of 3,079 U.S. counties in value of vegetables sold.

Delaware also ranks first nationally in the value of agricultural products sold per farm at $425,387 and value of agricultural production produced per acre of land in farms at $2,123.

Statistics aside, few things are better – or better for you – than fresh picked, locally produced farm products.

The following farmers markets are listed on the state website, but residents know that there are many more local vegetable and produce stands dotting the state’s many highways. If you are traveling anywhere in the state, chances are pretty good you will come across one or more.

== Kent County ==

 

Asbury Church Farmers Market

Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., until Oct 11

Customers can use FMNP coupons.   Asbury Open Lot, W. Glenwood Ave (next to Glenwood Cemetery), Smyrna Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Asbury-Church-Farmers-Market-2077482435854703/     Info or vendor application: Asbury United Methodist Church, 302-653-8415 or asburychurchfarmersmarket@gmail.com

Capital City Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., until Oct. 30

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons. This market participates in the Summer Food Service Program.   126 W. Loockerman Street (Loockerman Way Plaza), Dover Website http://downtowndoverpartnership.com/ | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/capitalcityfarmersmarket/   Info or vendor application: Brynn Voshell, 302-678-8896 or brynn523@gmail.com

== New Castle County ==

Bellefonte Farmers Market

Friday, 5–8 p.m., until Sept. 27

Multi-vendor Market:  2nd Friday, 5–8 p.m., until Sept. 13

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP-WIC coupons.   Bellevue Community Center, 510 Duncan Road, Wilmington   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bellefontemarket   Info or vendor application: Elisa King, 302-762-1391 or elisagking@gmail.com

Carousel Park Farmers Market

Fridays, 2–6 p.m., until Oct. 25

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   Carousel Park & Equestrian Center, 3700 Limestone Road, Wilmington Website http://nccde.org/455/Farmers-Markets | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Castle-County-Farmers-Market-Program/1428440977407063     Info or vendor application: Michael Begatto, 302-395-5600 or mbegatto@newcastlede.gov

Co-op Farmers Market

Sundays, 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m., until Nov. 24

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   Newark Shopping Center, 230 E. Main Street, Newark Website http://www.newarknaturalfoods.com/ | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CoopFarmersMarket/   Info or vendor application: Patrick Galloway, 302-368-5894 ext. 231 or marketmaster@newarknaturalfoods.com

Glasgow Park Farmers Market

Fridays, 3–7 p.m., until Oct. 25

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   Glasgow Park, 2275 Pulaski Highway (Rt. 40 & Rt. 896), Newark Website http://www.nccde.org/455/Farmers-Market | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Castle-County-Farmers-Market-Program/1428440977407063   Info or vendor application: Michael Begatto, 302-395-5600 or mbegatto@newcastlede.gov

Route 9 Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 3–7 p.m., until Oct. 2

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   3022 New Castle Ave., Rte. 9 Library & Innovation Center, New Castle Website | Facebook   Info or vendor application: Michael Begatto, 302-395-5600 or by e-mail @  mbegatto@newcastlede.gov

Village Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 4–7 p.m., July 3–Aug. 29

This market accepts FMNP coupons. Brandywine Mills Plaza, 19th and Market Streets, Wilmington   Info or vendor application, contact obvillagemarket@yahoo.com

Westside Farmers Market at Cool Spring Park

Thursdays, 4–7 p.m., until Oct. 3

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   Cool Spring Park (West 10th & North Jackson Streets), Wilmington Website http://www.nccde.org/455/Farmers-Market | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Cool-Spring-Farmers-Market-103958403032410/   Info or vendor application: Michael Begatto, 302-395-5600 or  mbegatto@newcastlede.gov

Wilmington Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., until Oct. 30

Rodney Square, 10th and Market Streets, Wilmington Website http://www.downtownvisions.org/   Info or vendor application: Tucker Casey 302-425-0196 or tcasey@downtownvisions.org

== Sussex County ==

Bethany Beach Farmers Market

Sundays, 8 a.m.–noon, until Sept. 1 

Garfield Parkway & Pennsylvania Avenue (PNC Bank parking lot), Bethany Beach   Website http://www.bethanybeachfarmersmarket.com/ | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bethanybeachfarmersmarket/   Info or vendor application: Doug Mowrey, 301-717-0492 or dougmowrey@gmail.com

Fenwick Island Farmers Market

Fridays, 8 a.m.–noon, until –Aug. 30

1406 Coastal Highway (Rt. 1 Bayside at Warren’s Station), Fenwick Island Info or vendor application: Albert Hudson, 302-841-0068 or skhudson51@gmail.com

Historic Lewes Farmers Market

Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon, until Sept. 28

George H. P. Smith Park (spring/summer), DuPont & Johnson Avenues, Lewes   Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.

Saturdays, 9 a.m.–noon, Oct. 5–Nov. 23

Richard A. Shields Elementary School parking lot (fall market), Savannah Road & Sussex Drive, Lewes   Website http://www.historiclewesfarmersmarket.org/| Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Historic-Lewes-Farmers-Market/299775900676   Info or vendor application: 302-644-1436 or info@historiclewesfarmersmarket.org

Historic Lewes Farmers Market at Kings Highway

Wednesdays, 8 a.m.–11 a.m., until Aug. 28

Customers can use EBT cards (SNAP benefits) and FMNP coupons.   Crooked Hammock Brewery, 37707 Crooked Hammock Way, Lewes Website | Facebook: See above   Info or vendor application: 302-644-1436 or info@historiclewesfarmersmarket.org

Milton Farmers Market

Fridays, 3–6 p.m., until Oct. 4

Customers can use FMNP coupons.   Dogfish Head Brewery, #6 Village Center Boulevard, Milton Website http://www.miltondefarmersmarket.org/ | Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Miltonfarmkt/ Info or vendor application: Mike Isabell, 302-827-4394 or mpisabell0@gmail.com

Nassau Valley Vineyards Farmers Market

Sundays, 12–3 p.m., until Sept. 29

  Nassau Valley Vineyards & Winery, 32165 Winery Way, Lewes Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nassauvalleysummerfarmersmarket/   Info or vendor application: Pat Coluzzi, 302-249-7878 or pat@coluzzi.com

Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market

Tuesdays, 11 a.m. –3 p.m. in June, July & Aug. & 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sept. until Oct. 29

Customers can use FMNP coupons.   Grove Park, Rehoboth Avenue (adjacent to Lighthouse Circle), Rehoboth Beach Website http://www.rbfarmersmarket.com/  | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rehoboth-Beach-Farmers-Market/55751518195   Info or vendor application: Pat Coluzzi, 302-249-7878 or pat@rbfarmersmarket.com

Riverwalk Farmers Market Downtown Milford

Saturdays, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., until Oct. 5 and Fall Market Nov. 23

  Customers can use FMNP coupons.   South Walnut Street at Riverwalk Park, Milford Website http://downtownmilford.org/events/farmers-market/  | Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RiverwalkFarmersMarket   Info or vendor application: Melissa Pingue, 302-222-2160, washergirl@comcast.net or farmersmarket@downtownmilford.org

The Farmers Market at Sea Colony

Wednesdays, 8 a.m.–noon, until Aug. 28

Marketplace at Sea Colony Shopping Center (parking lot), Rt. 1 South, Bethany Beach Website http://seacolonyfarmersmarket.com/   Info or vendor application: Henry Bennett, henry@bennettorchards.com.   Source: Delaware Department of Agriculture website: https://agriculture.delaware.gov/communications-marketing/farmers-markets-guide/