Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ Market dwellers are greeted with the sounds of bluegrass music July 25 in Urbana.

Late summer brings a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables to those who toiled and nurtured their backyard gardens during the spring and early summer. For others who did not have the time, talent or inclination to garden, the Urbana Farmers’ Market offers the next best thing: high quality, fresh local produce for a reasonable price, according to organizers.

Now in the back parking lot of the Urbana Library every Sunday, from 12 – 3 p.m., the farmers’ market offers several varieties of fresh produce; home-baked bread, cookies and pastries; fresh-cut flowers, plants and herbs; and jewelry, ceramics and other local crafts.

The Urbana market is a producer-only market. The farmers, bakers, growers and crafters are there selling their own products and are happy to talk about them to customers and offer advice and information.

Vendors include Mayne’s Farm, well known for its sweet corn as well as its seasonal pumpkin and tree farms. Mehrl Mayne is on the board of the Urbana market and loves to chat with visitors. Miolea Farms offers organic produce, meat, eggs and starter plants. Blue Faerie Farm is a certified grower of colored potatoes (Have you ever eaten a blue potato?) and apples from its orchard.

A Better Choice Bakery, is owned by another board member, Beth Johnson, who makes the increasingly popular gluten- and dairy-free baked goods, as well as some vegan products. The Baguette Republic is a family-run bakery, offering various types of bread, rolls and pastries. Rosebud Estates sells bouquets of fresh-cut flowers and potted plants. Native Plants and Penny’s Plants sell, of course, plants and are happy to advise their customers on where and how to grow them.

Barry Benson makes ceramic bowls and dishes and mosaic trays and mirrors, and her niece does face painting and beaded jewelry at the market. The artist behind Silver Kat Jewelry makes the original metal and stone jewelry herself.

The first Sunday of each month, the Frederick County Animal Shelter brings some animals for adoption, and when it is in town, a local bluegrass band entertains.

The market board also wants to give back to the community. Any unsold products are picked up by the Urbana Food Bank at the end of the day, and right now the vendors are collecting school supplies to donate to needy children this fall.

Mad BBQ is the resident meal provider for the market. This local vendor is well known for its barbeque, and people often order in advance to take home dinner. That is one of the goals of the Urbana Farmers’ Market — “to help people start off their week prepared” — says Beth Johnson, the Market Master. “From dinner and leftovers Sunday and through the week, we hope to help them get a closer look at what they’re bringing home. Our products are a representation of us, and we’re proud to bring it to them every Sunday.”


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