Bring on Summer and Fresh Produce!

Written by Christy Vanderwende Wright, Little Wagon Produce, for Milford Live (page 14) in honor of Local Produce Week

Bring on summer and the local produce! A sure sign of summer is downtown farmer’s markets. Little Wagon Produce is busy as a vendor at three – the Milton Farmer’s Market on Friday afternoon, the Riverwalk Farmers Market in downtown Milford every Saturday morning, and the Georgetown Farmer’s Market at 16 mile Brewery every Wednesday evening.

The Riverwalk Farmers Market in Milford has become a regular meeting hub for the Milford community. Shoppers mingle, talk, smile, laugh, and hug in between buying goods. Live music and many new vendors compliment the market. The weather has been warm but the grove of trees provides a refreshing shade. We appreciate the loyalty of Milford patrons year after year. I also appreciate the many questions and concern in my absence. I welcomed a baby boy last August and have taken time off to care for him. My sisters, Danna and Amber, have replaced me and love to share pictures of the baby!

The most popular question we get each year is “Do you have sweet corn yet?” The answer is YES! We are also picking daily our own yellow squash, zucchini, sweet corn, string beans, kale, green tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. We will soon have red tomatoes. Farmers have been blessed with plentiful rain this season. Keep in mind, there are expenses incurred by vendors such as fuel costs, paper and plastic bags or packaging, labor, and significant time picking and packing the day before the market. We tend to spend most of Friday preparing for the market in Milford and schedule 4-5 employees to attend and assist customers during the market.

If you do plan to take a stroll downtown soon, here are a few tidbits to help you be “Farmer Market Ready” this summer:

  • Bring cash! Many vendors are small businesses and cannot afford the fees accompanied with credit card machines. There is no bank in downtown Milford anymore.
  • Bring your own bags! The recyclable grocery bags work great! By doing this, you will help the environment and help us because plastic bags are an additional expense to vendors that we usually do not pass on to the customers. We even pay more and go out of the way to find heavy-duty plastic bags to hold a dozen ears of sweet corn (and they still don’t hold a dozen ears well).
  • Bring a friend! Word of mouth is the best marketing! The Riverwalk Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 9am-1pm.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask! Many markets have an information booth or a “Market Manager” to oversee the market each week.
  • Spread the love! Hopefully you will find more than one vendor to patronize. In Milford, there’s a large variety of vendors offering more than produce and there are several businesses nearby such as Dolce Coffee Shop, Blooming Boutique, Sugar Bee Candy Store, Arena’s and Georgia House Restaurant.
  • Bring your smile! Many vendors love to talk and engage their customers, including us.
  • Stay updated! The market is usually rain or shine! Vendors still come out in the rain. Check to see if your local market has a Facebook page and/or website for updates. Milford can be found on Facebook at “Riverwalk Farmers Market” and we update our page as well, “Little Wagon Produce”.
  • Say thanks to the vendors! There would be no market without them!

Thank you to all our loyal customers who already know the ropes and patronize the market week after week! Be sure to check out the Department of Agriculture’s “Buy Local” website for a farmer’s market near you at www.de.gov/buylocal.

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