Chestertown Farmers' Market

Artisan Vendors

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Chestertown Farmers Market
    Chestertown Farmers' Market
Chestertown Farmers' Market
Chestertown Farmers' Market Chestertown Farmers' Market
Chestertown Farmers' Market

www.townofchestertown.com

High & Cross Sts, Fountain Park

Chestertown, MD. 21620

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On Saturday mornings from 8 am to noon beginning about the third Saturday in March and ending about the last Saturday before Christmas in December, located in beautiful Fountain Park in the heart of downtown Chestertown, on Maryland's Eastern shore you'll find wonderful fresh home grown produce, herbs, breads, soaps, plants and cut flowers as well as the hand-crafted works of local artisans.

A reduced vendor participation, no artisans, Winter Market remains open throughout the winter, weather permitting.

For the 2016 Season the Artisans will return April 16th.

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Benefits of shopping at the Farmers Market

▪ The fruits and vegetables are grown locally and picked when perfectly ripened. This enhances the taste, texture, and aroma of the produce.

▪ Our existing system of food transportation and distribution requires enormous amounts of energy and resources. Before reaching your table, the average food item in the United States will travel 1,300 miles! In fact, only about 10% of the fossil fuel energy used in the world’s food system is used for production. The other 90% goes into packaging, transportation, and marketing of the food. All this inefficiency creates many environmental problems.

▪ Shopping at the Farmers Market benefits the local farmer and strengthens your local community.

▪ Since our selection is picked at the peak of the season, nutrients, and phytochemicals will be more abundant. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine.” 

▪ Shopping at our market brings you in contact with some of the most extraordinary artisans and craftsmen on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

HOW YOU CAN HELP THE BEES EVEN IF YOU HAVE VIRTUALLY NO YARD SPACE by Christy Erickson

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If you’ve heard anything about bees lately it’s likely that they need protecting. Why? The short answer is that bees are our most-important pollinators and they are in a bit of trouble. You may have heard that planting a large bee garden is the best way to help. While it is a great way to boost local bee populations, having a large garden is just not feasible for some people. Fear not - here’s how you can help the bees even if you have no real yard space at all.

Why you need to act to help the bees

Bees are the world’s top pollinator - anything that moves pollen to and from the parts of a plant that reproduce, causing plants to make fruit and/or seeds. It’s estimated that between 70-100 crops in the United States are at least, in some way, dependent on bees. Anywhere from 15% to 30% of what you eat depends on bees. Not only does the world’s ecology owe a lot to these special pollinators, but the world’s economy does to. Just in the U.S. bees are thought to affect more than $100 billion of agriculture a year.

It’s thought the the recent decline in bee populations worldwide is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the use of certain pesticides that wreak havoc on bee colonies, habitat destruction, and a scarcity of food resources in some areas. We don’t know exactly what a world without bees would look like, but we know that the more bees we lose the worse off we are.

So, what can a yard-less person do to help?

So you’re not going to build a massive bee garden, build a habitat for bees, or get into beekeeping. But you can still help.

Try building a “porch garden” with potted plants. You don’t have to have a ton of yard space to raise healthy plants that bees will love (and even some you can eat!). If you’re a novice at the “container garden” thing, check out these starter tips. Bees generally love blue, yellow, and purple flowers, plants that are native to their area, and wildflowers. Bees also love dandelions and clover, so if you do have a small stretch of grass don’t weed it! Remember, never use pesticides or herbicides if you want to be truly bee-friendly.

Buy local and organic. Farmers who subscribe to organic farming eliminate the use of pesticides, which we know are harming bee populations. Buying local honey is also important, as supporting local apiaries is one way to boost bee populations. It may cost a little more, but shy away from the stuff in the bear bottles that comes from who knows where and support local beekeepers by buying their honey (available direct or via local farmers markets or local-oriented grocery stores).

If you have the money, one great way to help the bees is to adopt a local hive. Beekeepers are experiencing upward of 30% decline over the past few years, and replacing their hives can be costly. Contact your local apiaries and ask if they have a hive adoption program. Even if they don’t have an official program in place, you can probably still donate to their cause (and maybe even help them start that adopt-a-hive program).

There are plenty of ways that an apartment-dweller or someone without the time and skill level to maintain a giant bee garden can still help their local bee populations, which in turn will help a truly global problem. Without the bees, we would lose our best natural method of plant pollination. That’s why it’s so crucial that we do everything in our power to protect this vital member of the food chain.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Bee-Friendly Tips for Fall-Time Gardeners

Unless you are an avid gardener, you may not realize how important bees are to the entire planet’s population. CABI explains in detail the importance of bees within sustainable agriculture, and how this translates to human food consumption. Frankly, most humans would not be able to eat without pollinators, and bees are the ultimate pollinator when it comes to ensuring crops last until harvest. As the seasons change, so do gardening tactics. In order to keep bees around and pollinating our gardens, we must consider any species that should be planted as Fall rapidly approaches.

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(Photo via Pixabay)

Pollination is Almost as Important as Water When it Comes to Plant Life

When the average person thinks about what allows plants to grow successfully, we often point to water and sunshine. These are vitally important, but often the non-gardener – and even those who are experienced green thumbs – may not understand just how important pollination is to a successful crop.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA correctly states that Americans have imported honey bees from Europe for centuries. The reason farmers are willing to shell out for honey bees is clear: the role they play in agricultural food production is immense and unrivaled. Pollination is ‘the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to

the female stigma’, according to the United States Forest Service. This is the process that allows plants to seed and create offspring. It is the reproductive process that allows plants to flower and create more seedlings, and it is vitally important in food-producing crops in particular.

Many examples show that the greater the number and diversity of pollinating bees that interact with a crop species, the more of that crop is produced. The vital role bees play in pollination makes a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder even more alarming. To put it simply, adult bees are abandoning their hives, dispersing from managed populations and making it more and more difficult for farmers to pollinate their crops. These crop failures pose a massive threat to the world’s food supply.

While definitive explanations for or solutions to CCD have yet to be found, efforts to attract and maintain the bee population are more important than ever. As individual gardeners, that means retrofitting their practices in order to make gardens as attractive as possible to the rapidly disappearing honey bee population.

Pro-Bee Gardening Techniques

Gardeners should plant species of foliage that attract bees year-round. This begins with planting species that are native to your region, as they tend to be more attractive to bees. Hybridized plants are often attractive aesthetically, but do little to attract much-needed pollinators such as bees.

Redfin.com says, "Opt for native and adapted plants better suited to your local soil and climate. These types of plants will attract local insects, including pollinators like bees and hummingbirds, which will help the environment."

Birds and Blooms lists their top 10 flowers that will attract bees. They include catmint, foxglove, lavender, calendula, crocus, heliotrope, and others. Overall Gardener lists some species of plant that bloom in the Fall. Though Fall is practically here, these species can be planted in anticipation of next year. Some examples include basil, loquat, thyme, oregano, catmint, Mexican heather, and many others.

It is important that gardeners plan year-round when it comes to planting species, as bees need a place to pollinate regardless of the season.

Conclusion

With fall practically upon us, it only seems appropriate that we highlight some fall-blooming plant species that bees will love. An approach to gardening with bees in mind must encompass every season, as our buzzing friends seek pollen and nectar year-round. Planting some species that bloom specifically in the fall will check one season off your list, but now is also the time to be planning for the next couple seasons to come. This forward-looking approach to gardening will keep those much-needed pollinators coming back year-round.

Chestertown Farmers' Market