As produce becomes more plentiful, Catonsville's two weekly farmers' markets will make their return in the coming week.
The Wednesday market, which has been in town for more than a decade, kicks off May 3, in the parking lot of the Christian Temple Church, 5820 Edmondson Ave., while the Sunday market, coordinated by the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, opens Sunday, May 7, at 730 Frederick Road, in the parking lot behind Friendly's restaurant.
The Sunday market started in 2010. Since then, there has been an increase in foot traffic when the market is running, Teal Cary, the chamber's executive director and farmers' market chair.
"It has really brought the village alive on Sundays," Cary said. "Frederick Road used to be pretty quiet on Sundays."
There are seven new vendors among the 27 that will be on-site, including Big Bean Theory, a restaurant that serves bean-based food, Deception Salsa, which sells salsa, and Indigo Love Potions, which features cold-pressed juices and vegan food, Cary said.
The Wednesday market will have 12 vendors and a rotating position for an area winery or, for the first time, a brewery, as Milkhouse Brewery, a Mt. Airy-based farmhouse brewery, will make its debut this year, said Jessica Moran, marketing coordinator for the market.
"It seems like a good fit for the area," Moran said. "People really like the farmers and like to get to know them."
While the market remains a producer-only market, meaning all that is sold there was grown or made by the vendor, the market has tried to expand beyond produce. Patrons are able to buy beauty products, pastries, eggs and meat, in addition to the traditional vegetables and fruits.
Moran said it helps keep the market relevant.
"People don't want to make 1,000 stops these days," she said. "They want to get everything they need in one quick stop."
Lisa Getka, owner of Sharpsburg-based Thistle Rock Farm & Nursery, said her farm has been part of the Sunday Catonsville market since 2013. In the early part of the season, she'll sell mostly plants until produce is harvested.
"It's a good market, turnout-wise," she said, adding the drive to the market takes about 75 minutes without traffic. "All the customers are friendly and have a good attitude."