The allure of grocery shopping outdoors after weeks of navigating confined spaces has people flocking to area farmer’s markets, where business has been brisk.
“The sales figures are there,” said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder, who is both a farmer and participant in the public retail market system. “Across the board it’s been a heavy buying season from what everybody tells me. People are finding the open air markets a lot more comfortable and safe than being in a grocery store.”
Bartenfelder said the markets offer fresh produce that some grocery stores may not be able to stock.
He said the only large market that is not opened because of crowding issues is Baltimore’s Downtown Farmers’ Market, traditionally staged under the Jones Falls Expressway at Saratoga Street.
The delayed opening of the downtown market has resulted in more people going to the Saturday 32nd Street Waverly Market, he said.
Below is a look at some of the area farmer’s markets, whether they are open for business and when others are expected to open.
Anne Arundel County
The Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market, 275 Harry Truman Parkway, is open Saturdays and Sundays. The market has a roof shelter but is open air.
The 32nd Street Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon in the 3200 block of Barclay St.
Vernon Rey, the market’s board president, said they have seen a busy spring. “Our business has been increasing and we are working on spacing issues.” Rey said that market’s sellers spread out this week to avoid crowding.
The Cross Street Farmers Market opens Saturday, May 16 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon. It is located at the corner of Cross and Light streets in Federal Hill.
Closed for now is the Downtown Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar, Saratoga Street between Holliday and Gay streets, under the Jones Falls Expressway viaduct. Organizers are working a configuration plan to accommodate social distancing.
The Baltimore County Farmers Market at the Maryland State Fairgrounds at Timonium opens June 3 at 10 a.m.
Carroll County markets have delayed their openings.
TheMount Airy Marketis tentatively scheduled to open on June 3. The Sykesville Market has posted an opening date of June 21, and the Westminster Market, 27 Railroad Ave., has a May 16 opening date.
The Bel Air Farmers Market, 2 S. Bond St., runs from 7 a.m. Saturday mornings beginning at 7 a.m.
The Havre de Grace Marketat Hutchison Memorial Park is open Saturday mornings.
The Aberdeen Markethas delayed its opening until June 4 at Festival Park.
Howard County’s markets are planning to open this month, with changes designed to assure safe operation during the coronavirus pandemic.
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The five weekly markets across the county are scheduled to begin opening May 6 on a staggered schedule, and will remain open through November, according to a county news release.
Three of the markets — at the Howard County Library System, Miller and East Columbia branches, and at Clarksville Commons — will be drive-thru only. The Maple Lawn market will be open for drive-thru and booth pickup, while the Oakland Mills Village Center market will be pickup only.
Buyers are encouraged to order online ahead of time when possible.