The year's first edition of the Towson Farmers Market on Thursday brought new and old customers to downtown Towson to enjoy an event that's become a staple for local residents.
"I love this," Pat Mott, 73, of Baldwin, said as she prepared to buy her second load of produce of the morning.
Her first load — fresh broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, squash, onions, peas, and asparagus — was already in her car, but Mott showed no signs of slowing down. After she finished shopping, she planned to have lunch at one of Allegheny Avenue's cafés.
"I look forward to this every week," she said. "It's my favorite thing to do."
Spencer Fastie, director of marketing at Radebaugh Florist of Towson, said the Thursday farmers market is an opportunity to both remind the stores' Towson base that they're just around the corner and bring in new customers.
"The goal is to market ourselves to the Towson community," he said.
Max Gold, 18 of Pikesville, is a rising sophomore at Towson University, and wore his school colors proudly as he pedaled hummus from The Wild Pea.
Across the street, Pat Fitzgibbons of Perry Hall manned his King of Pickles booth.
"This is a profitable farmers market, and it's growing every year," he said. "It's just a cornucopia of products you don't find everywhere else."
The array of vendors — and their compatibility — is also a draw. A shopper could purchase flowers from Radebaugh, then get tips on how to let them flourish from the Baltimore County Master Gardeners booth. Just steps away from Gold's hummus booth, you could buy vegetables for dipping.
The lunchtime rush was noticeable as well. Employees of the downtown Towson businesses — including county government offices — flooded the streets after noon, looking for a little variety from their weekly routines.
Kristin Arbaugh, 24, of Westminster, and Keba Mayers, 30, of Randallstown, were at the county courthouse for training and were informed of the market by colleagues.
For Mayers, it was her second time at the Towson Farmers Market, which she said stands up well against the others she has been to.
Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, said she was thrilled with the turnout for opening day, and greeted all of the vendors as she strolled down Allegheny Thursday afternoon.
She said the empty spaces were reserved for farmers whose fruit was out of season — meaning even more variety would be showcased later in the year.
But on the farmer's market's first day, the customers seemed quite content with the selection.
"It's awesome," Liz Terrell, 37, of Joppa, said. "I just spent $40 on stuff — really good stuff, hopefully."
The Towson Farmers Market runs every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Allegheny Avenue between York Road and Washington Avenue.