Spring is in the process of springing up in the Mid-Atlantic area and for me that means the best time of the year is getting ready to occur, Farmers’ Market Season! I’ve always loved attending markets and am lucky enough to be associated with an amazing market in my adopted hometown of Westminster, Maryland. I began my farmers market career in 2014 as a vendor selling prepared soups and salads. I’m no longer a vendor at my local market but have been the manager since 2017, giving up my dual role as a vendor in 2017 when COVID protocols needed full time attention for the safety of our vendors and guests.
I will tell you this, while many negative things occurred during lockdown a very positive thing took root with farmers markets. Consumers, realizing they could not get all the things they wanted at the local grocery stores, discovered that farmers markets had all they wanted and more (with the exception of toilet paper)! Our market saw a huge uptick in guests and that lead to increased sales. Some vendors even saw two to three times in volume. In fact, one of our local bakers was refilling up to three times a day! Another positive that came out was many people discovered that they were entrepreneurs and turned their hobbies into businesses.
I loved watching (and still do) the interaction of guests with the people who were actually growing, raising, producing, and making the products that they were purchasing. Families were and still are out in droves enjoying all the delights that farmers markets bring. Imagine a child talking to the farmer who grew and picked the apple they were eating. Our farmers and producers have so much pride in their product and are always happy to tell you about their farm and/or business. It’s amazing to see people communicating!
Many markets offer breakfast and lunch options with seating areas and live music. Community seating makes for great conversation. I remember last year listening to a conversation from two people that came from opposite ends of the country only to discover that they were childhood friends separated when one family moved away. Talk about a joyous reunion!
The best part of the farmers market is ALL of it! Farmers Markets have evolved over the years, from road-side stands to full fledged businesses. While different markets have different focuses one thing they all have in common is that none of them would be in existence without FARMERS! Whether they are produce or flower farmers or raise animals no market would exist without these staple vendors. So today and everyday remember to thank your local farmer when you visit your local farmers market!
As for me, every Saturday morning from May 14-November 19 you will find me at the Downtown Westminster Farmers Market with the best of the best that Carroll County Maryland has to offer. Please be sure to visit our website at www.downtownwestminsterfarmersmarket.com and on social media!