The Historic Lewes Farmers Market opens its ninth season Saturday, May 10. The market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society at 110 Shipcarpenter St. at the corner of West Third and Shipcarpenter streets. The HLFM is the largest producer-only market in Delaware and has again been named Best Farmers Market by Delaware Today.
The Third Annual World’s Shortest Parade kicks off the market morning. Market fans are invited to meet at 7:45 a.m. at the corner of Burton Avenue and Third Street for a joyful march to the market to celebrate this season’s opening day.
Saturday, May 10 has also been proclaimed by the city of Lewes as Historic Lewes Farmers Market Day!
At the market, patrons will find most of their favorite vendors from last year offering their produce, fish, chicken, lamb, dairy and more. The market also welcomes two new vendors this season: Chesapeake Organic Farm and Herbs, Spice, Everything Nice. Both of these new vendors will be located on the Third Street side of the market.
Chesapeake Organic Farm was started in the 1990s as one of the first organic farms in Maryland. The owners, Betsy Thornton and her husband, took it over in 2000, and Betsy kept it going after her husband’s death. She tells us that she always wanted to be a farmer, and “just hasn’t figured out how to stop.” The farm is 40 tillable acres located in Marion Station, Somerset County, Md. It has been certified organic by Maryland Dept of Agriculture since 2000, and Betsy will bring a large variety of produce right through the fall months.
In 1981, Cheryl and David Wiley started growing herbs in a greenhouse at their home in South Plainfield, N.J. and later added cut flowers to the business. This was their organic training ground for Herbs, Spice, Everything Nice. They supplied over 200 varieties of herbs to local garden centers. . The business is now located in Selbyville on six acres purchased in 2006. They received their USDA Organic certification in 2010 for the land and two greenhouses later adding a high tunnel and cold frame for winter growing. For the opening market they will offer lots of plants - 22 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, four European kales, red and green lettuce, over 40 types of herbs including eight different basils, 18 scented geraniums, assorted herbal topiary, three varieties of eucalyptus and assorted flowering and fragrant annuals.
Their produce includes: purple baby pak choi, red and green lettuce, Tuscan, Portuguese, Russian and Rainbow lales and a limited amount of leeks and micro greens. Each year they grow over 50 varieties of mostly heirloom tomatoes, including 10 colors of cherry tomatoes. They specialize in IPM techniques using good bugs to control the bad ones.
As in past years, the HLFM will again offer its informative and always entertaining market demonstration program. This program features guest chefs preparing delicious dishes using fresh food available at the market, as well as informative lectures and demonstrations on topics from sustainable agricultural methods to growing flowers to recycling.
The opening day demonstration will start at 10 a.m. at the kitchen and features an instructive and delicious session with Rebecca Williams, pastry chef and front of house manager at Bethany Blues in Lewes. She will be demonstrating an hors d'oeuvre featuring strawberries (local ones are just coming into season).
As part of the HLFM’s mission to educate children about healthy eating and nutrition, the Children’s Reading Program will continue to be offered. Maureen Miller, children’s librarian from The Lewes Public Library will begin this year’s season at 9 a.m. in the School House by reading "One Bean" by Anne Rockwell.
The Market will continue to process SNAP (EBT Food Stamps). To help lower economic barriers to local, healthy food, the HLFM will match up to $10 with HLFM Bonus Bucks. SNAP participants are encouraged to go to the SNAP Information Tent at the market to redeem the Bonus Bucks incentive.
The Historic Lewes Farmers Market has adopted a policy that pets (with the exception of service animals) are not permitted at its farmers market. The HLFM thanks all for their understanding and support of this necessary policy.
More information about the market is available at www.historiclewesfarmersmarket.org.