BERLIN – The town’s new farmers market opens this Sunday with live music, entertainment and a variety of locally grown produce.
The Berlin Farmers Market will be held each Sunday at Artisans Green, located between HOUSE and Go Organic in downtown Berlin. The market kicks off June 17 and is expected to be held through the month of September.
“The farmers market starts this Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then we’ll be every Sunday from now until September 30,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director. “Possibly longer, depending on if everybody wants it to be longer.”
The market replaces the Downtown Berlin Farmers Market, which ceased operations in April. The new market, which is being organized by Wells, will feature more than a dozen vendors as well as live music, “Storytime with Mother Goose” at 10 a.m. and a weekly talk hosted by Toby Gilbert of Gilbert’s Provisions.
“Toby Gilbert will be talking about a variety of cooking techniques every Sunday at 11:30, whether it’s fermenting or baking or pickling,” Wells said.
While Wells is still accepting vendor applications, those confirmed at this point include Baywater Farms, Cross Farms, Home Canning Classics, Gilbert’s Provisions, Bluebird Farms, Eastern Shore Kettle Corn, The Wilde Hare, Gray’s Produce, Masterpiece Flower Farm, Swamp Boy Botanicals, Spirits of Patriots and Goatopia.
Marc Duncan, proprietor of The Wilde Hare bakery, is looking forward to taking part in the “producers-only” market.
“Everything will be grown or made in the local area,” he said. “It’s interesting to see how much talent and diversity you can find on the lower Eastern Shore.”
Duncan said his bakery participated in the town’s previous market several years ago.
“I was sorry to see it go but it needed some changes,” he said, adding that he thought the addition of entertainment and a more central downtown location would benefit the new market. “They’re moving in the right direction. We’re excited to be a part of it.”
Duncan grew up attending the markets in the Lancaster area that attract as many as 30,000 people a day. Like Wells, he believes attendees want the event-style atmosphere she’s working to build.
“It’s just something people like,” he said.
The Wilde Hare will be bringing artisanal style breads to the market as well as pastries. This week, shoppers can expect a blueberry blue cheese sourdough as well as the bakery’s popular molasses oatmeal sandwich loaf, among other items.
Other vendors will offer shoppers produce, flowers, soaps and even spirits. Spirits of Patriots, a distillery in Princess Anne, will be bringing farm-to-market moonshine, rum and vodka to the Berlin Farmers Market. Tom Cropper, owner of Spirits of Patriots in Princess Anne, said the distillery would be bringing moonshine, rum and vodka.
“Croppers have been farming on the Eastern Shore since the 1600’s,” Cropper said. “We know the value of farm to family markets. Four generations have been doing that here or near Berlin. We are thrilled that once again we will be able to do this at the new Berlin Farmers Market. We are excited that with this market, instead of tomatoes, squash and Silver Queen corn, we will be bringing our farm-to-market moonshine, rum and vodka.”
Staff from Baywater Farms in Salisbury are also eager to bring their wares to Berlin. Tim Fields, manager of the farm, said Wells advised them of the new market and they didn’t hesitate to sign up.
“Our farm loves the town of Berlin and we have always been interested in selling our products in Berlin,” Fields said. “The previous market never seemed to have room for us in the past.”
The sixth-generation family farm grows all year long and will bring a variety of produce—heirloom tomatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, squash, etc.—to the market.
For more information on the Berlin Farmers Market on Artisans Green look it up on Facebook or visit www.berlinmainstreet.com.