By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 7, 2020) The first Berlin Farmers Market of the season was so successful that most vendors sold out within the first two hours, and more vendors and suppliers are expected at this week’s market.
Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells was pleased with the turnout for the first market of the season amid the covid-19.
“It was very crowded early on,” she said. “There was a lot of seniors from 8:30-9 a.m. and the strawberries sold out at 9:07 a.m. and then pretty much everything else sold out within an hour after. Bay Water Farms actually did a second run to their farm to get more stuff and when they came back and they said they sold out twice.”
Opening weekend had 13 vendors: Baked Dessert Café, Baywater Farms, Cross Farms, DelVecchio, Gilbert’s Provisions, Una Bella Salute, Lyon Distilling Company, Cherry Walk Garden and Preserves, Home Canning Classics, The Bay Mushrooms, Splendid Earth Acres and Berlin Sconer.
The farmers market will take place every Sunday from May 3 to Aug. 30 on Pitts Street, where local farmers and other vendors will sell everything from fresh produce to spirits, flowers, baked goods and other materials.
According to Wells, the feedback from the public has been positive.
“It was extraordinarily positive,” she said. “Access to farmers markets and access to fresh local produce and food is a way to stay healthy in this environment. Gov. Hogan deemed them essential for a very good reason. The Town of Berlin think it’s very important to maintain the farmers market.”
As per the governor’s regulations, farmer’s markets are allowed to run provided they are outdoors and ensure that patrons maintain the six feet distance rule, as well as limit time and crowd size.
Shoppers and vendors must wear masks to protect themselves and are encouraged not to linger too long in the space. No more than two people may accompany each other, with the recommendation that children, senior family members and pets remain behind for safety’s sake.
Wells noted there were still several people who either brought their children or pets despite the warnings and reminds the public that the town is simply following the guidelines provided by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
“Please do not bring your dogs,” Wells said. “Some people did complain about dogs being there and we tried our best to monitor that.”
There will be an additional three vendors this weekend, plus the spaces will be spread out even further to avoid crowding. This will take the market into Commerce Street as well as the entirety of Pitts Street.
The market is once again offering an early bird half-hour for seniors ages 60 and older to shop from 8:30-9 a.m.
The market will be offering recyclable shopping bags for $10. In addition, there will be a station set up that provides face masks for a donation to those who might not have one as well as hand sanitizers.
Wells asks that customers please bring exact change to minimize the exchange of currency as much as possible, or bring other forms of payment like cheques or credit cards.
Wells warned that there will only be two entrances to the farmer’s market, as the bank parking lot will be blocked in order to follow regulations.
“You can either get there via the intersection of William and Pitt Street, or Main and Pitt Street,” she said. “I have signs being printed up with the market rules that will be placed at those locations you can’t enter.”
For more information, contact Wells at email@example.com or call 410-629-1722.