(Aug. 2, 2019) Northern Worcester County farmer’s markets offer a wide variety of locally-grown fruits and vegetables, as well as other homemade goods multiple times a week.
The Ocean City Farmer’s Market is held on 142nd Street, bayside, in the former Phillips parking lot, on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Despite being the smallest market in the Northern Worcester County area, the Ocean City gathering has been around the longest. It began 25 years ago and is the only USDA-sanctioned market in Ocean City.
“It was one of the first ones in Worcester County,” Market Manager Paul Wood said. “The market was organized by the Department of Agriculture with Phillips Seafood Company.”
As the market takes place on “days starting with Ts and Ss,’” Wood said it has a very loyal customer base, with many coming from the neighborhoods nearby.
“Everything grown here is sold by the vendors themselves and grown on the Eastern Shore,” Wood said. “Nothing is bought, at all. This is truly a producer-only market. We’re all just local farmers from this area, all of us have been here for quite awhile.”
While smaller than the other markets, there are several selections of fruits and vegetables to choose from, as well as wine, pottery, flowers and bread. Many of the vendors hail from Maryland, though a few do travel from Delaware.
“This was the first market that we ever did when we started farming and we’ve been [farming] for 26 years,” said Ryan Richards from East View Farm in Roxanna, Delaware. “There’s always business and it’s been good to me for the past 25 years. It’s pretty popular on a normal summer day … we get a lot of traffic.”
Despite its size, the market can see hundreds of people over the weekend.
The Ocean City market is open on Sundays from May to October, Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend to October and Tuesdays and Thursdays during July and August.
For more information, contact Wood at 410-726-5259.
The Berlin Farmer’s Market runs Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Pitts Street, next to Burley Inn Tavern.
“We’re a producers-only market,” said Ivy Wells, director of economic and community development for the Town of Berlin. “Our tagline is ‘real farmers, real farmers’ market.’ You get to meet the actual farmers who are there. They are the ones who work at the farm and grow the food.”
Several local restaurants, including the Shark on the Harbor in West Ocean City and Blacksmith in Berlin, uses fresh produce from the farms that sell at the market for its ingredients, Wells said.
In addition to vendors, a band plays music while guests shop. Pets are also welcome to the market.
The Berlin market will be open weekly until the last Sunday in September.
“We have a really good community here,” said Berlin resident Ryan Ellis, who sells scones every Sunday. “There’s music and things for kids to do.”
“I really like the location and assortment of vendors,” Pittsville resident and produce vendor Stephanie Barfield said. “You can get pretty much anything right here on this block and I really like all the customers. We really love this market for its music, assortment of vendors ... it’s just a great place to be.”
Although the market is restricted to the size of the street, there are roughly 20 vendors on site at any given time, however, new vendors are still welcome.
“It’s a quality market ... our market is based on the quality of the products, not on the number of vendors available,” Wells said.
Some of the vendors in the Berlin market also participate in the Ocean Pines market on Saturdays.
For more information on how to become a vendor, contact Wells at IWells@berlinmd.gov.
The largest farmer’s market in the northern Worcester area is located in Ocean Pines. It had been held on Saturdays only year-round since 2012 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until last year, when the market also began taking place on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m.
Now, the Wednesday market will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well.
“There’s something special happening all the time,” Ocean Pines Market Manager David Bean said. “There’s great food, great produce [and] vendors. We have fantastic artisans who come from all over the region to participate in this market.”
Held in the tree-shrouded White Horse Park, the market includes dozens of vendors who provide items ranging from locally-grown produce to deli meats, seafood, clothing, jewelry, homemade soaps and lotions, woodwork, carpets and kitchen appliances.
There is even a small petting zoo featuring alpacas.
On Saturdays, shoppers can also enjoy live music from local performers. Shoppers are even encouraged to bring their pets for walks throughout the market.
When the market began over eight years ago, there were only six vendors huddled inside the Memorial Pavilion. Now, during the busy summer season, the market could see anywhere up to 85 vendors.
“We’re a community-minded market, we have a Kiddie’s Corner and we invite other organizations to participate in the market,” Bean said. “We’re dog-friendly and you can come out and see the animals. There’s a lot going on.”
The Wednesday morning market is new to Ocean Pines this year and has received praise from local residents.
“The Wednesday market has grown this year,” Bean said. “We’ve seen an increase in foot traffic, vendor participation and we’re happy with where it’s at for its second year.”
Some new activities were also introduced at the Saturday Ocean Pines market, including a mascot named Buzzy the Honey Bee, who wanders around handing out candy to children, teaching them about the importance of bees and showing off dance moves.
There is also a “Kiddie’s Corner,” which allows children to participate in arts and crafts.
“My farm is family owned and without the farmer’s market I could not keep this farm going,” said Assistant Market Manager Lenore Brady from Stag Run Farm in Georgetown, Delaware. “The farmer’s market is the only way I could be here and I am the newest apple orchard and the third-largest asparagus producer in the state of Delaware.”
According to Brady, Ocean Pines has some of her most loyal customers.
“They come out no matter what the weather is. They come every week and I just love them,” Brady said. “Ocean Pines is a very, very loyal community to us farmers.”
For more information about becoming a vending, contact Bean at 410-251-6383 or email at email@example.com.