Sweet peaches, juicy apples and succulent tomatoes are just a few of the fresh items local farmers are selling at the Pikesville Farmers Market from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each Tuesday through Oct 25.
“You can’t get fresher than the local-grown produce from farmers markets,” said Pikesville Chamber of Commerce board member and marketing manager Nick Attias, who was at the market for its season debut yesterday.
The market is sponsored by the chamber and features produce from McCleafs Orchard of Biglersville, PA, and Rabbit Hill Farm; and flowers from Radebaugh Greenhouses of Towson.
It's held next to Boston Market in Pikesville, 1317 Reisterstown Road, which is also near the Pikesville Branch Library and Senior Center.
“Even though we are [near] to the Giant, people still like to get fresh products and talk with the farmers that grew them," Attias said. "It’s nice for people to get to meet those responsible for growing their produce and ask questions.”
When the Pikesville market began 11 years ago there were fewer farmers markets available. Now there are more, but not each of them sells producer-only food, Attias said. It's important for customers to recognize that most farmers markets often buy their produce wholesale and resell it, he explained.
“Our place is a true farmers market in that it is producer-only and is sanctioned by the Maryland Department of Agriculture,” Attias said. “We’re the smallest, but the best. We have some of the best peaches you have ever tasted, and original, unique products like kosher homemade applesauce and apple butter.”
Orchard owner Corey McCleaf said has been farming since 1999, but the farm has been in the family since 1888.
During the six years he has sold produce at farmers markets, he said he has let his products "speak for themselves. We try to provide the best quality produce we can. ... I just love doing it,” McCleaf said.
Jane Charles, who works for the orchard, said the farm also tries to keep in mind the community it is providing for.
For example, in the Pikesville area there are many Orthodox Jews, so McCleafs has had its products certified as kosher, she said as she scooped free samples of homemade apple butter.
“Our apple butter is really refreshing on hot days,” Charles said. “There’s no sugar added, just cinnamon. It’s addictive.”
Kaitlin Radebaugh of Radebaugh Greenhouses said that while the market is only in its first Tuesday of the season, business is going really well.
“I think not everyone expects for there to be flowers at the farmers market,” she said. “All of our plants are grown at our farm here in Maryland, so if you’re looking for that green, homegrown thing, we certainly provide that."
At the market, Radebaugh Greenhouses sells annuals, cut flowers and hanging baskets.
Pikesville resident Jane Wolfrum said she was on her way out of the Pikesville Branch Library when she noticed the market nearby.
“I came out today because I wanted some fresh produce for the summer. I haven’t had the chance to go to a farmers market yet, and this was very convenient."
Here's a list of some of the area farmers markets, and the days of the week they're in business:
- 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Pikesville Farmers Market
- 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Randallstown Farmers Market
- 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Park Heights Community Farmers Market
- 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Owings Mills Farmers Market
- 7 a.m. to noon Sundays, Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar
Editor's Note: Signs at the Pikesville Farmers Market once stated the incorrect closing time for the market. Since then, however, those signs have been changed to the correct closing time: 2:30 p.m.