These pandemic times has seen a resurgence of the simple farmers market, which not only helps local farmers but boosts other local businesses and provides shoppers with healthful products.
Farmers markets date back over 5,000 years, when farmers in Egypt sold their wares along the Nile River. America’s first farmers market opened in 1634 in Boston.
Recently, several towns in Sussex and Orange counties have initiated weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly farmers’ markets in the great outdoors.
The Sussex County Fairground Farmers Market held every Saturday at the fairgrounds has, according to organizer Donna Traylor, “everything you will need for the week with nine different farms represented.”
Sponsored by SB Bank and the Sussex County Board of Agriculture, the market offers meats from Pittenger Farms, fresh fruits and vegetables from Farmside, Jersey-fresh sauces, Lusscroft Farms’ maple syrup, and milk and other dairy products from Springhouse Creamery. Milk Street Distillery, famous for their spirits, has switched gears to produce a 70% alcohol hand sanitizer to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Don and Donna Traylor make sure there is no cross contamination as Donna assists customers and Don handles the payments.
“Customers are advised not to personally touch any of the offerings,” said Don.
After classes at agricultural learning centers were cancelled, seed packets were donated to the fairgrounds and are being distributed to market patrons free of charge.
The Farmers Market at the Fairgrounds happens every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.