As the coronavirus pandemic unfolded this spring, Maryland was one of several states to deem farmers markets essential businesses, allowing the community gatherings to remain open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a growing customer base in search of locally grown food outside the confines of a grocery store, farmers markets have quickly evolved to both meet the newfound demand and ensure shopper safety following updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
These days, market vendors can be found wearing personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves. Many are now encouraging pre-orders to eliminate wait times, in addition to implementing separate employees for handling payments and products.
Meanwhile, market managers and volunteers have instated new social distancing measures, such as staggering customers and spacing vendors at least six feet apart, as well as providing hand sanitizer and hand washing stations at stands and exits.
“Farmers markets play a critical role in providing fresh, nutritious and locally produced food products to customers across the state,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder in March. For families in need, farmers markets also create access to fresh food, with many accepting federal nutrition benefits such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children).
To help you shop local in these strange times, we’ve compiled a list of open, upcoming, and closed farmers markets across the city and county, with a sampling of what vendors will be in tow.
This fan-favorite Saturday morning gathering in Waverly is one of the few markets that operates year-round, but it always welcomes a few new faces just in time for the spring season. Be sure to pick up staples from the region's best growers and makers, like kombucha from Hex Ferments, meats from Liberty Delights Farm, and produce from the Farm Alliance of Baltimore. Corner of E. 32nd & Barclay Sts, Saturdays year-round from 7 a.m.-12 p.m.
Despite a delayed opening, the JFX Farmers Market under I-83 officially reopened on June 14 with new restrictions and social distancing recommendations, beginning solely with essential food businesses, like Calvert Farm produce, Agriberry Farm fruit, Migrash Farm flours, and prepared item vendors like the Curry Shack and La Bohemia Bakery. More stalls may be added over time. Corner of Saratoga & Holliday Sts, Sunday through December 20. 7 a.m.-12 p.m.
This weekend, the nearly decade-old farmers market returns to the newly renovated Broadway Square for Saturday mornings spent shopping local before meandering the harbor's waterfront. Local farmers and regional vendors fill the brick plaza and tout everything from produce from the new Atlas Farms, flowers and mushrooms by Spore & Seed, raw honey from Hon’s Honey, and the beloved Moses Family Jerky. Broadway & Thames Sts. Saturdays through October 31. 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This new kid on the block is back for its second year outside the recently renovated Cross Street Market, featuring both local farmers and vendors from the historic market. Shop Baltimore grown and made goods such as produce, meat, and eggs from Albright Farms, or sweets by Divine Fudge, Balti’Marons, and Bakeology. Also be sure grab to-go options from the old and new go-tos like Fenwick’s Choice Meats and the fresh-food market, Rooster + Hen. May 16-October 24. Saturdays. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 1 E. Cross St.
A stroll around this open-air market with its iconic view of the Domino Sugars sign is an ideal way to start the weekend. This year, plan ahead for a new location just down the street in the Little Havana’s parking lot, where go-to vendors and goods like flowers from Helen’s Garden, seafood from Two Oceans True Foods, pork from Loch Haven Farm, and honey from Betwixt The Comb, will still be in tow. 1321 Key Hwy. Saturdays through November 28. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. .
The Shops at Kenilworth’s annual Tuesday-afternoon market is underway in the mall's parking lot with myriad offerings, including flowers from Belvedere Farm, produce and transplants from Calvert’s Gift Farm, dairy products from Prigel Family Creamery, and baked goods from Rare Opportunity Bakehouse. 800 Kenilworth Dr., Towson. Tuesdays through November 24. 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Though the tasting room may be closed, this fan-favorite winery in the county countryside is still hosting its Thursday evening farmers markets with curbside wine sales to boot. While you’re stocking up on bottles, also make sure to peruse One Straw Farm produce and Hills Forest Fruit Farm fruit, as well as regionally made products like Charm City Pops popsicles and Dimitri Olive Oil. Local bands will also be performing live each weekend. 12820 Long Green Pke., Hydes. Thursdays through October 1. 3-7 p.m.
This quaint Monkton market offers a respite of small-town life from the big city. Head north to the rolling hills of Monkton for Parkton Oak Spring Farm produce, The Contested Rooster poultry, Daily Crisis Farm dairy, Shaw Orchards fruit, and Floriculture flowers, plus live music every weekend. 17004 York Rd., Monkton. Saturdays through October 31. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
This small market in Northeast Baltimore provides its local community with fresh produce and protein throughout the warm-weather months. Every other Saturday, find the likes of pastured chicken and duck eggs from Ladybrook Farm, jams from Johari Made, baked goods from Mary’s Muffins, and flowers from Celadon Hill. 6908 Belair Rd. Every other Saturday through October 31. 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
There are few more idyllic market settings than this mid-week version nestled at the edge of Druid Hill Park. Beneath the park's ancient trees and with the Rawlings Conservatory as its backdrop, shoppers can find city-grown produce from the likes of The Greener Garden Urban Farm, as well as natural soaps from Lil Ria’s Natural Soaps and condiments from Tree Frog Hot Sauce on Wednesday evenings. 3100 Swann Dr. Wednesdays through September 30. 3:30-7:30 p.m.
This vibrant Northeast Baltimore market, sponsored by Loyola University, serves a number of close-knit surrounding neighborhoods with its mid-week gatherings in the parking lot of the school's public safety department. Make it a destination for fresh produce and herbs from Real Food Farm, fruit from Shaw Orchard, and ethically sourced coffee from Dear Globe. 5104 York Rd. Wednesdays through September 30. 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Located on the northeast side of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, this weekly hidden gem market returns in June, providing its area doctors and East Baltimore neighbors with both a lunch break and locally grown groceries. Go for vegetables from Becerra Produce and The Plantation Park Heights Urban Garden, as well as to-go eats from BricknFire Pizza Company, El Piquin, and Mo Mo Thai Food. 1900 McElderry St. Thursdays through October 15. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
This Mayfield area newcomer returns to Lake Montebello for its second season with a waterfront gathering featuring many vegan and vegetarian options. Grab some Gingerly grain bowls, Cajou vegan ice cream, or Blondie Doughnuts and make a day of it with a picnic on one of Herring Run Park’s many grassy knolls. Lake Montebello. Fourth Saturday of the month through October 24. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
On Tuesday afternoons, this cozy parking lot market in Pikesville offers county residents weekday access to the likes of Flash Crabcake Company seafood, Kona Ice snowballs, and local spirits by Boordy Vineyards and Twin Valley Distillery in a treelined setting. 1700 Reisterstown Rd., Pikesville. Tuesdays through October 27. 2-6 p.m.
On Wednesday mornings starting in June, the Maryland State Fairgrounds transforms into a weekly farmers market with 10 vendors, providing ample room for purchasing meat from Albright Farms, cheese from Daily Crisis Farm, fruit from Hills Forest Farm, and transplants from White House Nursery. 2200 York Rd., Lutherville-Timonium. Wednesdays through October 28. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Located in the heart of downtown Towson, this veteran market, now in its 41st year, is a county favorite for its host of local farmers and food trucks throughout the summer and fall. This season, the curbside vendors include Full Circle Farm for produce, God Scent Herbs, Baltimore BBQ Company sauces, Ray’s Pork Rinds, and Slate Farm Brewery. Allegheny & Washington Aves. Thursdays through November 19. 10:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Throughout spring and summer, this small spring and summer Sunday market at Franklin Middle School in northwest Baltimore County features organic microgreens and produce from Green Girls, vegetables from Duane’s Vegetables, java from Gracefully Coffee Roasters, baked goods by Lisa’s Love, and flowers from Ludwig Garden. 1208 Cockeys Mill Rd., Reistertown. Sundays through August 30. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
100 Light St.
8390 Main St., Ellicott City