Farmers' markets grow beyond produce

June 30, 1993|By Beth Hannan | Beth Hannan,Contributing Writer

Farmers' markets -- they're not just for produce anymore. If you haven't checked out the local farmers' markets lately you might be surprised at the items for sale. Not only have the markets been carrying exotic produce and more Asian vegetables but you can buy the ingredients for a complete meal at many of the local farmers' markets.

Eggs, dairy products, honey, cider, herbs, jams and jellies are common non-produce foods that have been sold for years at farmers' markets. Added to that now is a variety of baked goods, seafood, poultry, smoked meats and gourmet foods as well as flowers to decorate the dinner table, potted plants and craft items.

"Bakers are very, very popular at farmers' markets," said Tony Evans of the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Market Development Division. While non-produce items help to round out a market, these other food suppliers must follow the same rules as farmers at producers-only markets, which the majority of the Maryland are. "In other words, they [the sellers] have to bake it, can it, catch it or make it," said Mr. Evans.

While baked goods are the most popular non-produce foods at farmers' markets, seafood is catching on. Besides the usual watermen's bounty, some markets are featuring aquaculture items. According to Mr. Evans, "aquaculture is the controlled production of aquatic animals and plants."

Simply put, fish are raised in tanks, man-made lakes and the like rather than being caught in the bay or the ocean. One of the benefits is a more steady "crop" because the water's salt and oxygen levels can be controlled rather than putting the fish at the mercy of nature's droughts or excessive rain.

Fish aren't the only aquaculture product. "Down the line you will see crabs and clams. There's a limited aquaculture production of oysters in the state. Projections are within 10 years it will (P mushroom," said Mr. Evans.

Here is a list of local farmers' markets, their locations, specialties and hours:

Anne Arundel County

* Annapolis Farmers' Market: Calvert Street in front of Arundel Center near Church Circle; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays; local fruits, vegetables, herbs, baked goods, jams, jellies, honey. Open: July 1 through Oct. 28.

* Anne Arundel County Farmers' Market: Riva Road and Harry S. Truman Parkway; 7 a.m. till sold out Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; local fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, baked goods, jams, jellies, pickles, honey. Open: now through Dec. 11.

* Jones Station Farmers' Market: Route 2 (Ritchie Highway) and Jones Station Road, Severna Park; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; local produce, flowers, herbs, aquaculture items, seafood, baked goods. Open: now until Nov. 27.

Baltimore City

* Baltimore Farmers' Market: Holliday and Saratoga streets, under the JFX viaduct; 8 a.m. till sold out or noon; fruits, vegetables, seafood, smoked meats, baked goods, cheese, plants, flowers, herbs, eggs, honey, jams, jellies, crafts, breakfast and lunch food, holiday fowl orders, homemade sausage. Open: now through Dec. 19.

* Park Heights Community Farmers' Market: Park Heights Avenue at Pimlico Race Course; 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays; fruits, vegetables, baked goods, plants. Open: now through Nov. 24.

* Gardenville Farmers' Market: 4400 Frankford Ave. (St. Anthony's Church parking lot); 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays; fruits, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, seafood, flowers, plants. Open: now through Nov. 20.

* Highlandtown Farmers' Market: 400 block of South Conkling Street off Eastern Ave.; 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays; fruits, vegetables, baked goods, honey, jams. Open: now through Nov. 2.

* Howard Park Farmers' Market: 3500 block of Woodbine Avenue between Gwynn Oak and Liberty Heights avenues; 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; fruits, vegetables, seafood, smoked meats, eggs, baked goods, plants, cider, breakfast and lunch food. Open: now through Dec. 19.

* Irvington Farmers' Markets: 4107 Frederick Ave.; 6 a.m. to noon Saturdays; fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers. Open: now through Dec. 19.

* 32nd Street Market: 400 block E. 32nd St., off Greenmount Avenue; 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays; fruits, vegetables (some organic), smoked meat, poultry, milk, butter, cheese, baked goods, flowers, plants, herbs. Open: now through Nov. 20.

Baltimore County

* Dundalk Village Farmers' Market: The park between Shipping Place and Center Street; 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays; produce, seafood, plants, crafts. Open: July 10 through Oct. 23.

* Essex Farmers' Market: Essex public parking lot 512 Eastern Blvd.; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays; fruits, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, potted plants, honey. Open: now through Oct. 26.

* Owings Mills Farmers' Market: New Town Sports Center; noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays; fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, baked goods. Open: now through Oct. 26.

* Towson Farmers' Market: Allegheny Avenue, between Washington and York roads; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays; fruits, vegetables, baked goods, flowers, potted plants. Open: now through Oct. 28.

Carroll County

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