National Farmers Market Week in Ocean Pines

Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week with a crop of special events, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment.

The weeklong celebration kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8 a.m. at White Horse Park, located at 239 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines. The weekend market will take place in conjunction with the Pine’eer Crafts and Artisans Festival, where hundreds of merchants will gather to showcase specialty items such as jewelry, stitchery creations, decorative pieces and more.

“Farmers markets are a pillar of communities and bring together family, friends and neighbors in a social setting that supports local family-owned farms and small businesses,” said Market Manager David Bean.

Miss Delmarva 2018, Hannah Dukes, will visit the marketplace on Aug. 4 to greet shoppers and sign autographs. Resident-Chef Maggie Haren will then take market-goers on a culinary adventure during her Aug. 4 cooking demonstrations of two peach-inspired recipes.

Folks are encouraged to enjoy the sounds of Sarah Campbell while visiting the market during the kick-off event. Campbell returns to the Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market on Aug. 4 with her artistic take on county and bluegrass music.

As the largest year-round market in the area, the Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market gives local Delmarva farmers and crafters the opportunities to market fresh food and crafty merchandise directly to the consumer.

“The market helps to generate annual sales for local producers and provides a valuable economic boost to the region,” said Denise Sawyer, marketing and public relations director of Ocean Pines Association. “The Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market has hosted more than 83 merchants selling a wide variety of products, including handcrafted jewelry, custom artwork, local produce, wild-caught seafood, hand-woven outdoor mats, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, pork and poultry, locally distilled rums and Vodka, and Amish bread.”

According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.

“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food system,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”

The Ocean Pines Farmers Market is open every Saturday year-round from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at White Horse Park and on Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m. through Sept. 26.

For more information about the Ocean Pines Farmers and Artisans Market, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at 410-641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

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