Local farmer’s markets and eating fresh have been on the upswing for the last couple of years, but Ocean City has been ahead of the curve for decades – and doing it in a low-key fashion. Did you know that the resort has its own farmer’s market, just off 142nd Street?
Visitors can stop by the Phillips Seafood parking lot near 142nd Street to shop local goods, made by the people standing behind the stall.
“We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and it’s a produce-only market,” said farmer’s market master Paul Wood. “That means what you see here is in season. When it gets further into the season, you’ll see more produce like blueberries and watermelons. That’s the summer crop.”
Paul also runs his own stall at the market with his wife, Susan. The couple owns A&W Farms out in Parsonsburg. They sell sells annual and perennial flowers at their stall the bright colors and floral aromas brighten up the farmers’ market.
Right now, the Woods are one of four stalls out in the uptown Phillips parking lot. But they said the market, like everything in Ocean City, picks up business as the summer goes on.
“We have some regulars to start out, but we get more visitors in late June. Eventually we get a mix of both,” Paul said. “People start coming through here mainly when the summer crops come in. Produce and tomatoes go quickly, it’s a great show.”
Another key point of the Ocean City’s farmer’s market is that it’s small, only with eight vendors in high summer, buts everything is produced by locals in Maryland or nearby in Delaware.
“It’s all gotta be farm fresh, and everyone who’s here has to make it themselves,” Paul said. “Out in Ocean Pines, there’s all sorts of vendors and nonprofits, but this market solely focuses on the the producers.”
While business may be slow right now, others like Great Shoals Winery came from Easton to pedal some of their wines and ciders early. Shoppers can even have a sip of their refreshing wine before making a purchase.
“I mean, we must do good business, since my boss asked me to be here,” Olga Deshields said with a laugh. Olga is a Great Shoals employee that was manning the booth at the Ocean City Farmer’s Market.
“We started out out in Princess Anne, and we always used local and the freshest fruits in Maryland to make our wines,” she said. “Our biggest sellers here the sweet wines, like Shipwreck and the Pinot Grigio. Our ciders are refreshing too.”
In addition, Quindocqua Farms was selling leafy greens and other vegetables at the farmer’s market at last weekend’s farmer’s market. But as summer goes on expect the parking lot to boom as other vendors show up, including Bennett Orchards in Frankford, Delaware that sells their famous peaches and blueberries.
“Those are very popular. Once they sold out of peaches in a hour,” Olga said. “It’s fun to watch!”
Shop for fresh and ripe foods at the Ocean City Farmer’s Market on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market runs from May until October.