Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) will kick off the 2014 Riverwalk Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 3, beginning at 9am to 1pm. With a focus on local, quality produce and products, DMI will provide an opportunity for the Milford community to come together and enjoy shopping for a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants, baked goods, prepared foods and other locally produced items. The renewed attention that has been given to the Farmers’ Market in recent years by DMI offers Milford residents the opportunity to support local farm families and the Milford economy.
“The Farmers’ Market is about bringing the community together and providing fresh, local produce and vegetables in the downtown area,” stated Melissa Pingue, Chairperson of the Riverwalk Farmers’ Market Committee. “We have also planned family-oriented activities including live entertainment and kids’ days.”
The tradition of the Milford Farmer’s Market began with residents of Milford merely backing their pickup trucks up to the Mispillion River to share their vegetables, fruits and handmade items with other locals on Saturday mornings. It has now evolved into an affair that not only preserves the small town feel of Milford but also promotes downtown Milford as a center for economic activity.
Last year’s Farmers Market season was a success as overall sales made by vendors increased from $85,000 in 2012 to approximately $100,000 in 2013. Daily visitors to the market increased for around 200 individuals per day in 2012 to between 250 to 300 individuals per day in 2013. The number of vendors participating at the market also increased from between 14 to 16 vendors per week in 2012 to between 18 to 20 vendors per week in 2013. There is optimism among DMI volunteers this year as the market has already approved 24 vendors throughout the 2-14 season.
Those who attend the Framers’ Market on Saturday mornings will be welcomed by familiar faces and new vendors alike. DMI welcomes back Little Wagon Produce who has been featured at the Milford Farmers’ Market for the past 13 years. This year they will begin in May by offering locally grown bedding plants, summer annuals, hanging baskets, local asparagus and strawberries.
“We are eager to kick off the Milford Farmers Market season,” commented Becky Vanderwende of Little Wagon Produce. “We will be there bright and early on May 3 and look forward to seeing our customers after the long, cold winter.”
New vendors to the 2014 Riverwalk Farmers’ Market include Bag Run Farms offering fresh asparagus, spices, herbs, honey and raspberries and Sea & Spa offering beach inspired home decor and natural bath products. Available items at the market will change every week due to what produce is in season.
Live entertainment including the Milford Community Band, the singing group Imagine, the Second Street Players Children’s Theatre and Abbott’s Mill Nature Centre will be present during the month of May. Downtown Milford Inc., encourages market goers to continue their venture downtown on Saturday by visiting local boutiques, shops and restaurants.
“In addition to providing fresh, local produce we encourage people to visit the downtown area including the businesses, art galleries, theatre and restaurants,” commented Pingue. The Riverwalk Farmers’ Market Committee is expecting an average of 300 visitors to the downtown market each week this year.
The market will run each Saturday from May 3 to October 18, from 9 am to 1 pm. The location of the market is 7 South Walnut Street, across from the Riverfront Theatre. DMI is still welcoming vendor applications for this year’s downtown Farmers’ Market. Applications can be found online at http://downtownmilford.org/events/farmers-market/, and returned to Downtown Milford, Inc. at 7 S. Washington Street, Milford, DE 19963. For more information on the 2012 downtown Farmers’ Market visit DMI at www.downtownmilford.org or call 302-839-1180.