Carroll Farmers Market launches its 21st season It will be joined by Hampstead, South Carroll marts


The Carroll County Farmers Market will open Saturday at the Agriculture Center in Westminster for its 21st season.

The Hampstead Farmers Market will make its debut June 27, and on July 1, the South Carroll Farmers Market will open for its fourth season.

Connie Bialecki, manager of the county's oldest market, said it's good for Carroll to have several markets.

"I feel there are enough people in the county to support all the markets," she said.

The Westminster market draws customers from the immediate area, plus some from Baltimore and Montgomery County, said Bialecki, market manager since 1977.

"We're pretty established. Our customers like the versatility of our farmers market," she said.

The market offers produce, baked goods and crafts. New this year will be producers selling organically grown food and a craft vendor who makes furniture, Bialecki said.

Market organizers also have lined up demonstrations every Saturday, ranging from hand-dipping candles to crocheting to stenciling.

This week, Harry Hahn of Emmitsburg, Frederick County, will grind corn and separate cream with steam-powered equipment, and Sherry and Jenni Wade of South Carroll will demonstrate making and decorating sugar eggs.

Every Saturday, Bonnie Hood of Westminster will show how she paints T-shirts and sweat shirts, Bialecki said.

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 5, except on Aug. 8 during the Carroll County 4-H FFA Fair. The market has 42 to 45 stalls every week, and breakfast and lunch are available.

The Hampstead market will operate in the parking lot at the old Hampstead Elementary School with about 14 vendors, organizer Diane W. Hale said.

The market will be open from 8 to 11 a.m. every Saturday through Oct. 17. A fall festival is planned for Oct. 17.

Non-profit community groups are invited to sign up for a Community Corner at the market, where they will be allowed to distribute literature, she said.

The South Carroll Farmers Market has grown by about three vendors this year, said Lila C. Weaver, a previous market manager. The market, on a grassy area near the public library in Eldersburg, will have about nine vendors this year, she said.

The market is open from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays beginning July 1. The mid-week market runs through Labor Day, while Sunday sales run through Oct. 25, Weaver said.

Organizers plan an Octoberfest on Oct. 11, with a rain date of Oct. 18, she said.

In addition to produce, the market also offers honey and baked goods for sale, she said.

Vendors accept vouchers from the federal Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, Weaver said.

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