To market, to market

Local options abound this summer for prime produce picks

These days, most would prefer to help out a neighbor instead of a faceless company. The good news is it's easier than ever before to keep your money local because of the abundance of farmers markets, and the season is about to kick off.

Farmers markets provide consumers the opportunity to support local farmers and businesses, reduce environmental impact by buying food produced nearby and as markets become increasingly popular and localized interact with their neighbors in a social setting.

In recent years, a number of farmers markets of all sizes have sprung up in the immediate area, making the coming summer arguably one of the strongest in history for the modern market. If so inclined, you could make a market nearly every day of the week without traveling far. Here's a rundown of what's nearby this summer.

Delmar Farmers Market

Slated for a June 5 start, the young but growing Delmar Farmers Market will run all summer and into the fall on Saturdays at the BC Middle School, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The market had 25 regular vendors during its inaugural year, said organizer Paul Tick, but this year 40 are expected.

"It's grown tremendously. We've even got a waiting list for vendors that want to get in," he said.

The numbers mean greater selection for shoppers, who will have three breadmakers to choose from instead of one, for example. Local restaurants are also being brought in to provide prepared foods for breakfast and lunch.

Last year, the market moved indoors to the Delmar Presbyterian Church when the weather got cold. This time, the operation will simply move into the middle school, which should afford more space for vendors.

As with last year's market, there will be music, kids activities and even farm animals on hand, making it more than just a place to get your shopping done.

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