New hours for Tuesday market, CSA deadlines approaching
From Harford County government:
(Bel Air, MD – April 2, 2010) – – The first of Harford County’s Farmers’ Markets to open for the 2010 season will be Bel Air’s Saturday market.
It will kick off on April 10 from 7am – 11am in the Mary Risteau Building parking lot at the corner of Bond and Thomas Streets, and will continue every Saturday thereafter through November. Bel Air’s Tuesday Market will start three weeks later on May 4 with new hours.
The market will now be open Tuesdays from 9am to 1pm in the Kelly Fields parking lot at the corner of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway (Route 24) and Boulton Street. “The start of a new season is always an exciting time for both the vendors and our customers,” stated Brad Milton of Brad’s Produce, President of the Bel Air Farmers’ Market.
“We look forward to seeing our loyal customers again, and to making new relationships with Harford Countians who want to get a better value for their money and want to Buy Local.”
Harford County’s other farmers’ markets in Edgewood, Havre de Grace, and Cooptown are slated to open in May. For more information on the Bel Air Farmers’ Market,visit their website at www.belairfarmersmarket.com.
In addition to farmers’ markets, Harford Countians have other options for obtaining fresh local produce such as roadside stands and on-farm stores. A newer option is to enroll in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The concept has been around for many years, but it has only recently caught on here in Maryland. CSAs involve the consumer paying a set cost prior to the growing season, and in return they will receive a weekly or biweekly share of in-season produce. All CSAs are slightly different, but the differences allow the consumer to shop around and find the CSA that best fits them and their family. Harford County now has eight farms that offer CSA programs, double the number we had just a couple of years ago.
“CSAs have advantages for both the farmer and the consumer,” noted C. John Sullivan, III, Deputy Chief of Staff for Agricultural Affairs. “It’s great for farmers because they can do more marketing before the busy growing season, and it allows them to better plan their plantings and harvests. Consumers love CSAs because they are guaranteed to receive fresh local produce at a lower cost than they would if they bought it during the season.”
To see a listing of CSAs, or to learn more about agriculture in Harford County, logon to www.harfordfarms.com. But you are advised to act fast, as most CSAs are filling rapidly, or have enrollment deadlines in the coming weeks.