Nothing rings in the Spring/Summer season than the reopening of farmer's markets. And in Howard County, that happens this week as the county's five farmer's market will open up this week and weekend. That's right - even with COVID - the farmers market will open, albeit with some new social distancing restrictions. So while my favorite part of a farmer's market - casually perusing the farmer's crops and merchant's goods on a lazy weekend morning while meeting and chatting with neighbors will have to wait - at least the is still access to locally-grown farm-fresh veggies, meats, dairy, baked goods, food and drink.
The five farmer's market's will start the season as drive thru and/or pick up booths only. This means that pick-up booths will be stationed 12 feet apart and buyers are urged to practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet apart while waiting in line to retrieve their order. Patrons are reminded to wear a face covering or mask. I'm unsure if the pick-up booths will require an order to be placed in advance (and if so, how?) or if you can simply show up and shop without placing an advance order, so please comment on Facebook if you know how this will work and I'll update this article once I learn more. Drive-through booths will be organized in a manner that requires patrons to remain in their car.
More information on the Farmer's market is available on their website, and the schedule is posted below:
HOWARD COUNTY LIBRARY-MILLER BRANCH 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City May 6 – November 4 | Wednesdays | 2:00 – 6:00 PM Drive Thru Only
HOWARD COUNTY LIBRARY-EAST COLUMBIA BRANCH 600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia May 14 – November 4 |Thursdays | 12:00 – 6:00 PM Drive Thru Only
CLARKSVILLE COMMONS 12264-12276 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville May 9 – November 7 | Saturdays | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Drive Thru Only
MAPLE LAWN FARMERS MARKET 7405 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton May 16 – November 7 | Saturdays | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Drive Thru & Booth Pick Up
OAKLAND MILLS VILLAGE CENTER 851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia May 10 – November 8 | Sundays | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Booth Pick Up Only
And if you are interested in farm fresh produce, but not interested in farmer's markets, there is still time to sign up for a summer CSA (like my family has done!) through one of the many farms in Howard County. CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) members receive a weekly share of the produce grown on a farm (or group of farms) each week throughout the summer season. Produce is fresh, local, and organic so you help supports local farms and our community, and receive delicious produce picked up from the farm, farm stand, or which can even be delivered to your own each week. HoCo farms offering CSA's include:
More information on Howard County farms is available on hocofarms.com.