The opening of area farmers' markets this season brings the arrival of growers loaded not only with bushels of fresh produce, but also knowledge to share with consumers who crave more than a sprig of fresh parsley or in-season tomatoes.
This year, a number of markets, including the Baltimore Farmers' Market, the Pikesville Farmers' Market, Carroll County Farmers' Market and the Waverly Farmers' Market, will hold workshops and cooking demonstrations for children and adults to teach them how to use the herbs, fruit and vegetables being sold.
"We're looking to do new and exciting things this year, and searching for fun ways to educate consumers," said Monee Cottman, communications associate for the Baltimore Farmers' Market.
Already, the market has had a representative from Reid's Orchard offer demonstrations on raising heirloom tomatoes and using fresh herbs. This month, sessions will be held on strawberries.
The Carroll County Farmers' Market will hold sessions on making herbal vinegars on June 18, cake decorating on July 16 and entertaining on Aug. 27, said market manager Anita Bullock.
The Waverly Farmers' Market, at East 32nd and Barclay streets, will hold cooking demonstrations on Saturdays throughout the summer in celebration of its 25th anniversary, said Vernon Rey, president of the market's board of directors. Featured chefs will include John Shields of Gertrude's restaurant and caterer Kerry Dunnington.
Rey said he attended a recent meeting of farmers' market organizers from around the country and found there's a trend toward more consumer education. In addition to cooking demonstrations, the Waverly market will have recipe cards available throughout the summer.
"Customers have been asking what to do with certain vegetables they didn't know much about," he said.
And while fliers are welcome, cooking demonstrations with free food do even more to draw a crowd, said Gabe Rosenbush, co-manager of the Pikesville Farmers' Market, which opens in July. The market has offered cooking tips and demonstrations for a few years and will have Tony and Sharon Thomas, owners of the Backfin Restaurant, offering tips to customers on July 26. "We have lots of noshers," he said with a chuckle.
Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County Farmers' Market, Riva Road and Harry S. Truman Parkway. Open 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays until Sept. 24; 7 a.m. to noon Tuesdays from June 14-Oct. 11; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 3 to Sept. 4. Contact: Bobi Crispens, 410-987-6034.
Downtown Annapolis Farmers' Market, Calvert and Clay streets (across from the Arundel Center). Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, July 7 to Sept. 29. Contact: Bobi Crispens, 410-987-6034.
Deale Farmers' Market, Cedar Grove United Methodist Church parking lot, 5965 Deale-Churchton Road. Open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, early July to mid-October. Contact: Connie Hirschman, 410-867-3979.
Glen Burnie Town Center Farmers' Market, Central Avenue and Platzer Lane, Anne Arundel County parking lot. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 6 to Oct. 26. Contact: Lisa Barge, 410-222-7410.
Piney Orchard Farmers' Market, Stream Valley Drive (off Route 170), Piney Orchard Community Center parking lot in Odenton. Open 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 15 to Oct. 26. Contact: Bill Morris, 410-974-8313.
Severna Park Farmers' Market, Ritchie Highway (Route 2) and Jones Station Road. Open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays until Oct. 29. Contact: Anita Robertson, 410-827-9192.
Baltimore Farmers' Market, Saratoga Street, between Holliday and Gay streets (under Jones Falls Expressway viaduct). Open 8 a.m. to noon Sundays until Dec. 18. Contact: Carole Simon, 410-752-8632.
Highlandtown Farmers' Market, 3500 block of Bank St., at the corner of Bank and South Conkling streets. Open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, July 9 to Oct. 29. Contact: Katie McKenna, 410-342-3234.
Howard Park Farmers' Market, Liberty Heights and Woodbine avenues. Open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 11 to Dec. 24. Contact: David Carroll, 443-286-9867.
Park Heights Community Farmers' Market, 5201 Park Heights Ave. (Pimlico Race Course parking lot). Open 10 a.m. until sold out, Wednesdays until Nov. 23. Contact: Eddie Brooks, 410-466-8397.
Waverly Farmers' Market, East 32nd and Barclay streets. Open 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays, (all year), Contact: Marc Rey, 410-889-6388. www.32ndstreet market.org.
Village of Cross Keys Farmers' Market, parking lot, Village of Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Road. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays until Oct. 25. Contact: Beverly Burton, 410-592-6095.
Catonsville Farmers' Market, Bloomsbury Community Center, 106 Bloomsbury Ave. Open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays until Nov. 23. Contact: Bruce VanDervort, 410-719-9609.
Dundalk Village Farmers' Market, Veterans Park (behind post office). Open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, July 9 to Oct. 29. Contact: Jerry Bukovsky, 410-285-3476.
Eastpoint Farmers' Market, Eastpoint Mall, 7839 Eastern Ave. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, June 15 to Oct. 26. Contact: customer service, 410-284-6695.
Farmers' Market at the Avenue, the Avenue at White Marsh parking lot, behind Barnes and Noble. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, July 8 to Oct. 28. Contact: Kathleen McLaren, 410-931-0411, ext. 100.
Pikesville Farmers' Market, Walker Avenue near Reisterstown Road. Open 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, July 5 to Oct. 25. Contact: Gabe Rosenbush, 410-653-5019.
Towson Farmers' Market, Allegheny Avenue (between Washington Avenue and York Road). Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays, June 16 to Nov. 3. Contact: Suzan F. Doordan, 410-825-1144.
Carroll County Farmers' Market, Smith Avenue at the Carroll County Agriculture Center. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 18 to Sept. 3. Contact: Anita Bullock, 410-848-7748.
Downtown Westminster Farmers' Market, Conaway South parking lot, corner of Railroad Avenue (Route 27) and Emerald Hill Lane. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays until Oct. 29. Contact: Stan Ruchlewicz, 410-848-5294.
Taneytown Farmers' Market, 501 E. Baltimore St., 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays, June 25 until September. Closing date yet to be determined. Contact: Vonny Dickinson, 410-756-2586.
Bel Air Farmers' Market, Mary Risteau Building parking lot, 2 S. Bond St. 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays until Oct. 29; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays until Oct. 25. Contact: Ron McCarty, 410-836-6346, www.belairfarmers market.org.
Edgewood Farmers' Market, Old Edgewood Road, across from MARC station. Open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays until Oct. 20. Contact: Alan Doran, 443-372-0080.
Havre de Grace Farmers' Market, Pennington Avenue at North Washington Street. 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays until Oct. 29. Contact: Cathy Vincente, 410-939-3303.
Twilight Market at Rockfield Manor, 501 Churchville Road, Bel Air. Open 5 p.m. until dusk, last Friday of the month until Sept. 30. Contact: John Sullivan, 410-638-3059.
Howard County Farmers' Market at East Columbia Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Open 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays until Nov. 17. Contact: Lana Edelen, 301-934-9004.
Howard County Farmers' Market at Glenwood Library, 2350 Route 97, Cooksville. Open 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays until Oct. 29. Contact: Linda Brown, 410-489-4460.
Howard County Farmers' Market at Mount Pisgah AME Church, 5901 Cedar Fern Court, Columbia. Open 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays until Oct. 25. Contact: Dave Shaw, 410-531-9577.