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Number of Delaware farmers' markets rise dramatically
Twelve new locations in all three counties will welcome visitors

Contact:   Dan Shortridge
    (302) 698-4520 (business phone)
    (800) 282-8685 (DE only)
    E-mail: dan shortridge@state.de.us
    Delaware Department of Agriculture
Chief of Community Relations
2320 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901

  DOVER (Apr. 3, 2012) – Delaware’s farmers’ market season will kick off bigger and better than ever this month, with the number of markets selling farm-fresh produce around the state substantially increased over last year.

Twenty-seven local farmers’ markets will be open during the spring and summer, including 12 new sites, offering a vibrant medley of just-picked Delaware produce as it comes into season. This is the seventh year of Delaware’s farmers’ market program. The Milton Farmers’ Market will launch the season on April 20, followed by Selbyville on April 21.

The farmers’ markets provide a significant economic boost to Delaware agriculture. The 2011 season, which featured 16 community-sponsored markets, brought in $1.8 million. In 2010, with 14 markets, they brought in $1.3 million.

The growth is due to the rising interest in locally grown food and healthy eating, Delaware leaders said.

“The tremendous growth in Delaware’s farmers’ market program helps strengthen the agriculture industry and support local jobs,” Governor Jack Markell said. “The markets benefit farmers and consumers. My family, and thousands of other Delaware families, is looking forward to enjoying our state’s fresh nutritious produce and other agricultural products.”

“Farmers’ markets have historically served as a community gathering place, and Delaware’s markets are showing this year that our communities are strong,” Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee said. “The markets also help connect residents with their neighboring farmers, and build an appreciation for our farmers’ service. When consumers can learn more about how their asparagus and apples come to their kitchens, everyone wins.”

Grant funding from the Department of Agriculture will enable two of the markets – Cool Spring and Village Fresh, both in Wilmington – to offer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card transactions this year, allowing families to purchase local produce and food items as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

New markets this year include 12th and Brandywine (Wilmington), Barn at Five Points (near Lewes), Garfield Park (New Castle), Hockessin, Long Neck, Millsboro, Millville, Orchard Point (Bridgeville), Selbyville, Smyrna, Trolley Square (Wilmington) and Village Fresh (Wilmington).

Depending on the vendors, other products such as cut flowers, bedding plants, baked goods, jams, jellies or honey may also be offered. Consumers also will be able to attend special programs and pick up information on nutrition, community events and recipes.

The farmers’ markets are supported and coordinated by the Delaware Department of Agriculture, but are funded and hosted by local groups, organizations and municipal governments.

For a complete list of farmers’ markets and on-the-farm markets, along with opening dates and hours, visit dda.delaware.gov

For information on press releases, contact:
Dan Shortridge, Chief of Community Relations
Business Phone: (302) 698-4520
Cell Phone (302) 242-4092
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Last Updated: Monday, 02-Feb-2015 10:54:28 EST
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