Historic Lewes Farmers Market

Events and Happenings at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market

2014 Great Tomato Recipe Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered. Below are our winners.
First Place Overall | First Place Appetizers
Becky Hamill—Yellow Gazpacho
Second Place Overall | First Place Desserts
Harry Keyser—Tomato Jam Cookie
Third Place Overall | 1st Place Entrée
Richard Scalenghe—Triple Tomato Salad
Second Pace Appetizers/Soups
Kay Cumber—Tomato Bread
Second Place Entrée
Becky Hamill—Tomato Gruyere “Souffle” with Sausage
Second Place Desserts/Drinks
Laura Byrum—Jump Back Blueberry Bread Pudding with Feel Good Green Tomatoes
Tomato Contest Winners
(pictured: Harry Keyser, Laura Byrum, Kay Cumber, Richard Scalenghe)
Photo by Brook Hedge

Historic Lewes Farmers Market Awards Eight Scholarships to Local Farmers

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market (HLFM) has awarded eight scholarships to Delmarva farmers.  This year, HLFM received more applications than ever before from farmers dedicated to sustainable farming methods for these important scholarships.  Each scholarship provides $500 to enable these farmers to attend conferences devoted to sustainable agriculture.

The HLFM provides these scholarships, as it has for the past seven years, to further its mission of promoting and strengthening sustainable farming through education and public outreach. Recognizing the importance of sustainable agriculture to the community, individual donors have again generously stepped forward to contribute to the HLFM scholarship fund.

Seven recipients will attend the PASA Pennsylvania Farming for the Future Conference on February 5-8, 2014, in State College, Pennsylvania.  PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the economic viability and environmental soundness of the local food and agricultural systems.  PASA assists working farmers concerned with the ecological wellbeing of the environment and natural resources.  PASA is the only statewide, member-based sustainable farming organization in the Northeast United States and is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the nation.  PASA long ago surpassed its Pennsylvania borders and last year, more than 2,000 conference attendees came from 38 states and 5 countries.  Beginning in 2011, and thanks in small part to the HLFM, PASA began a discussion group for Delmarva and now includes a Delmarva Region. Participants from Delmarva hold an annual regional meeting at the PASA conference to discuss issues relevant to sustainable farming on Delmarva.

Another scholarship recipient will attend the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on January 28-30, 2014.  The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention has been jointly sponsored by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, the Maryland State Horticultural Society, and the New Jersey State Horticultural Society for the past 36 years.  The National Peach Council, of special relevance to scholarship recipient Bennett Orchards, will meet at the convention for its annual meeting as well.

The 2014 recipients of the HLFM scholarships are: The Bennett family, Bennett Orchards; Helen Waite, Black Hog Farmstead; Lisa Garfield, Calliope Farm; Elizabeth Thornton, Chesapeake Organic; Lauren Schaefer, The Delaware Center for Horticulture’s 12th & Brandywine Urban Farm; Christie McDowell, The Good Farm; Larry Armstrong, Heritage Oak Farm, and Cynthia Turner, Wisteria Lane Farm.

The big news from the Historic Lewes Farmers Market is that the Market will continue this year into the fall.

The Market stays at the Lewes Historical Society through September 28. And, this year, from October 5 through November 23 (Saturday before Thanksgiving), from  9am to noon, the Market will be held in the parking lot of Richard Shields Elementary School, just off the corner of Sussex Drive and Savannah Road.  Many of your favorite vendors will be there offering everything from meats to pumpkins to lettuces to butternut squash.

Starting this year, the Market is processing SNAP (EBT Food Stamps).

To help lower economic barriers to local healthy food, the HLFM will match up to $10 in SNAP with HLFM “Bonus Bucks.”  SNAP participants are encouraged to go to the SNAP Information Tent at the market to redeem their Bonus Bucks.

Historic Lewes Farmers Market Awards 6 Scholarships to Local Farmers

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market (HLFM) is very pleased to announce that it has awarded scholarships to six Delmarva farmers.  The scholarships of $500 will enable these farmers to attend sustainable agriculture conferences.  Five recipients will attend the Pennsylvania Farming for the Future Conference on February 6-9, 2013, in State College, Pennsylvania (PASA).  Bennett Orchards will attend the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, January 29-31, 2013.

The HLFM provides these scholarships, as it has for the past six years, to further its mission of promoting and strengthening sustainable farming through education and public outreach, including the Historic Lewes Farmers Market every summer.  Recognizing the importance of sustainable agriculture to our community, individual donors have again generously stepped forward to contribute to our scholarship fund.

PASA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the economic viability and environmental soundness of the local food and agricultural systems.  PASA assists working farmers who not only grow our food but also are concerned with the ecological wellbeing of our environment and natural resources.  PASA is the only statewide, member-based sustainable farming organization in the Northeast U.S. and is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the nation.

The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention has been jointly sponsored by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association, the Maryland State Horticultural Society, and the New Jersey State Horticultural Society for the past 35 years.  The National Peach Council, of special relevance to scholarship recipient Bennett Orchards, will meet at the convention for their annual meeting as well.  The Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, and Rutgers University Cooperative Extensions all assist in organizing the convention’s three days of educational sessions.  The convention has become one of the premier grower meetings in the Northeast.

The 2013 recipients of the HLFM scholarships are:

Helen Waite, Black Hog Farmstead.
Black Hog is interested in expanding its network of experts and learning a great deal more about the “holistic management movement.”

Carrie Bennett, Bennett Orchards.
Bennett Orchards has employed and continues to adopt sustainable practices, including, biological pest control methods such as disrupted mating techniques and Integrated Pest Management practices.  Bennett also is interested in the use of nematodes for borer control, a session offered at the conference, along with an important presentation on maintaining a healthy bee habitat for blue orchards bees so pollination of blueberry crops may be fostered.

Lisa Garfield, Calliope Farms.
Calliope is certified naturally grown, uses organic principles, and focuses on building the soil through cover crops, compost, and mineral amendments.  Calliope notes that the PASA conference offers a yearly opportunity to learn from experienced agriculturists.  Calliope believes that farmers need to possess a wide and varied set of skills from animal care and husbandry, to caring for vegetable and fruits, machine maintenance and building, as well as troubleshooting and marketing.  Attending the PASA conference will give Calliope the opportunity to learn new skills and new ways to become more efficient.

Ted Wycall, Greenbranch Farms.
Greenbranch is most interested in the opportunities at the PASA conference to learn more about soil management and animal husbandry, with the goal of producing the healthiest food possible while maintaining the health of the land.

Chris Bohinski, Pure Harvest Farm.
Pure Harvest is interested in learning about new methods of feeding for its chickens, how to raise some of its own feed, and how to make its egg and meat production more efficient, so a PASA workshop on becoming a USDA certified poultry processing facility is on Pure Harvest’s list of sessions to attend.

Susan Ryan, Good Earth Market.
Good Earth Organic Farm is one of the oldest certified USDA Organic Farm in Delaware, 100% committed to sustainable agriculture practices for 10 years.  Good Earth plans to learn more about crop rotation and pest management as well as marketing and egg production.

Kathleen Moss, Greenbranch Farm.
Kathleen Moss has worked in small, scale, organic agriculture in the Mid-Atlantic region for the past 7 years. She is interested in attending PASA to learn more about growing in high tunnels and greenhouse propagation techniques. In addition, she wants to learn more about managing farm labor, and marketing to restaurants, all of which will be covered at PASA.

The Winners of the Sixth Annual Tomato Festival Recipe Contest

1st Place Grand Prize: Ed St.Jean, III’s Warm Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Twin Post Farms Mayonnaise and Tarragon Gremolata

2nd Place Grand Prize: Beth Heid’s Quinoa Stuffed Tomato

3rd Place Grand Prize: Laura Jarman’s Green Tomato Orange Carrot Cake Love with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

Photo by Brook Hedge

Winner of the Seventh Annual Bike Raffle

Congratulations to Kathleen Smith of West Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the winner of the custom-painted 2012 PHAT Sea Breeze Deluxe 3, three-speed Classic Cruiser. Kathleen’s name was drawn at random from a basket of all entries by the Bicycle Queen of Lewes, former City Councilperson Barbara Vaughan. One of HLFM’s stellar junior volunteers, Lilly Bachtle, ably assisted. Thanks to all who entered to win!

Photos by Brooke Hedge

Market Opens Seventh Season with Record Crowd!

On May 26, we counted over 3,500 visitors to the Market surpassing last year’s 3,227.  We received our award plaque from American Farmland Trust for being America’s Favorite Farmers Market (mid-size), and County Councilwoman, Joan Deaver, presented us with a commendation from the Sussex County Council for our win. Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee, Delaware Speaker of the House, Robert Gilligan, Delaware House Majority Leader Pete Schwarzkopf, and State Representative Ruth Briggs King were all on hand for the presentations. The day began with the shortest parade ever from W. Third and Shipcarpenter into the Market entrance at Second Street and Shipcarpenter, and was a hoot with Mayor Ford and customers with Mardi Gras beads leading the way under our America’s Favorite Farmers Market banner. The Mayor and Council rang the bell at 8am and the HLFM 7thseason began.

Photo by Brook Hedge


Historic Lewes Farmers Market Voted America’s Favorite Farmers Market

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market won the first place title in the America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest in the medium category. Last year we won second place and were determined to place first in 2011. This is the first time a Delaware market has won first place. The national contest is sponsored by American Farmland Trust, the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. The HLFM is dedicated to the mission of promoting and supporting sustainable agriculture in the Delmarva through its 37-vendor, producer-only market, educational programs, scholarships and donations, and community involvement. The HLFM is proud to be first in its category, and encourages support of all local farmers markets throughout the country.

The Winners of the Fifth Annual Tomato Festival Recipe Contest

1st Place Grand Prize: Gerald Cowan’s Tomato, Lettuce, Bacon (Reverse BLT) Sandwich
2nd Place Grand Prize: Linda Cowan’s Bloody Mary Sorbet
3rd Place Grand Prize: Laura Jarman Byrum’s Green Tomato Golden Raisin Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Icing


1st Place: Michael Tyler’s Yellow Fever Salad


1st Place: Robert Perri’s Cordoban Salmorejo
2nd Place: Linda Cowan’s Smoked Paprika Tomato Soup


1st Place: Gerald Cowan’s Tomato, Lettuce, Bacon (Reverse BLT) Sandwich on Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Herb Bread served with Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Mayonnaise
2nd Place: Mary McCluskey’s Heirloom Tomato Tart with Herbs and Honey


1st Place: Linda Cowan’s Bloody Mary Sorbet
2nd Place: Laura Jarman Byrum’s Green Tomato Golden Raisin Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Icing

Winner of the Sixth Annual Bike Raffle

The Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market announced the winner of  the sixth annual bike raffle. Cape Henlopen High School senior Elena Leonhart is the grateful winner.   “I couldn’t believe it,” says the delighted Cape Henlopen High School senior, a regular at the market since it first opened. “Every year I put in ticket after ticket and was here for the drawing. This year I put in one ticket, and was working when they drew it. And this is the year I won!”

Looking rather spiffy riding the 2011 PHAT Melodie 26-inch single-speed Classic Cruiser through Rehoboth Beach, Elena uses the bike for shopping, work and recreation. “It’s a beautiful bike,” she says. “I love it.”

HLFM Board member Bonnie Osler (right) and Elena Leonhart

Photo by Georgia Leonhart

Historic Lewes Farmers Market Summer 2011 Reading List

Thanks to all of you who submitted titles for our Summer reading list of books about local farming, eating, and living sustainably. We thank you for your great suggestions, and we thought we might start with the following seven. We will make these books available at the HLFM book table at the Market at discounted prices. So read them alone or form a book group. Please share your comments with us on the HLFM Facebook page.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp & Camille Kingsolver.
In a memoir full of her renowned candor and pluck—a winner of the James Beard Award and a Book Sense Book of the Year for 2008—Barbara Kingsolver tells how she and her family abandoned their beloved Southwest to move back to an Appalachian farm she inherited, in order to live only on food they themselves or their neighbors grew. The book makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty by Mark Winne.
Here the longtime executive director of the nonprofit Hartford Food System exposes America’s dangerous dietary split, between patrons of food pantries, bodegas, and convenience stores to the more comfortable classes who increasingly seek out organic and local products. Leavening lessons from his own experience with surprisingly witty observations, Mark Winne ultimately envisions realistic partnerships in which family farms and impoverished communities come together to get healthy, locally produced food onto everyone’s table.

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball.
Single, in her 30s, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure but was also beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, the sparks between them led Kimball to abandoning the city for his farm near Lake Champlain. This book is the unsentimental yet vivid chronicle of their first year together on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn. “As much as you transform the land by farming,” she writes, “farming transforms you.” Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community, and provide it for cooperative members. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Kimball’s descriptions of landscape, food, cooking, and marriage are irresistible. She discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.
When Novella Carpenter—a former student of Michael Pollan’s captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency—moved to inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn lot next door to her house, she visualized heirloom tomatoes and a chicken coop. This is the story—full of hilarious moments and unexpected farmer’s tips—of how her urban farm grew to be populated with turkeys, geese, rabbits, ducks, and two 300-pound pigs.

The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky.
In the depths of the Great Depression, FDR created the Federal Writers’ Project as a make-work program. A number of writers, including Zora Neal Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Nelson Algren, were dispatched across America to chronicle the eating habits, traditions, and struggles of local people. Though they amassed an enormous amount of valuable material, the project was abandoned in the wake of World War II. Food historian Mark Kurlansky—who also gave us Cod, Salt. and The Last Fish Tale—pored over stacks of these writings in the Library of Congress to give us this snapshot of our startlingly rich food heritage before it was redirected by frozen meals, processed foods, and restaurant chains.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” These simple words go to the heart of this book—a number one New York Times best seller—which provides well-considered answers to the questions posed in his Omnivore’s Dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. His sensible advice is: don’t eat anything that your great grandmother would not recognize as food.

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka.
Call it “Zen and the Art of Farming” or the “Little Green Book”; Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge—originally published in Japan in 1975—presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. Michael Pollan calls it “one of the founding documents of the alternative food movement.” At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book “is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture.” Trained as a scientist, Fukuoka rejected both modern agribusiness and centuries of agricultural practice, deciding instead that the best forms of cultivation mirror nature’s own laws. Over the next three decades he perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique: commonsense, sustainable practices that all but eliminate the use of pesticides, fertilizer, tillage, and perhaps most significantly, wasteful effort.

Market Breaks All Attendance Records on Opening Day!

Over 3,200 customers (not including children) visited the Historic Lewes Farmers Market on opening day, May 28, 2011. This not only broke opening day records, but all attendance records at the Market. When the Mayor and Council rang the bell at 8 am to open the season, the farmers’ tables were piled high with produce ranging from many different types of lettuces to fava beans to French radishes. Huge Peony bouquets and hanging baskets full of blossoms filled the air with sweet scents. Shoppers came and went all morning, and by closing much of what had been brought to Market had been sold. The farmers and vendors were ecstatic.

City Council Ringing the Bell

Market Terms – It’s all in the Definition!

There are a lot of terms that are used at farmers markets that need definition.  Here are some general definitions to help guide you at the Market.

Artisan/Artisanal: These terms imply that products are made by hand in small batches.

Certified Organic. The USDA National Organic Program states that all products sold as “organic” must be certified. Certification requires a farm to submit a production plan and be inspected annually by a certifying organization. The organic certification process is designed to assure customers that the organic products they purchase have been produced using appropriate organic practices, with records that allow traceability.

Conventional farming draws its meaning from the contrast to alternative methods of farming, such as organic, certified natural and even genetic engineering. Conventional farming dominated the 20th century is still dominant today. Chemical fertilizers and chemical plant protectorants are common; however, IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is part of conventional farming. IPM applies principles of organic farming and so the definition of a conventional farmer will vary from farmer to farmer.

Farm fresh is really just a marketing term used in retail and direct farm sales. It generally means that the product is being purchased directly from a farm. However, if you are really concerned about freshness, ask when the produce was harvested or the eggs were collected. Just another good reason to buy at our Market as you can ask the farmer directly since we are a producer-only market. A producer-only market is a market where the vendors only sell items they produce.

Free-range implies that a meat or poultry product comes from an animal that was raised in the open air or was free to roam.  When the term is used on poultry products, “free range” is regulated by the USDA and means that the birds have been given access to the outdoors, but for an undetermined period each day.  “Free-range” claims on red meats and eggs are not regulated.  Please note that free-range egg producers have no standard on what the term means. Many egg farmers sell their eggs as free-range simply because their cages are two or three inches more than standard size, or because there is a window in the shed.  It’s always best to ask the farmer directly what he or she follows to label their products “free-range” just one of many reasons to buy at a farmers market—you meet the producer face-to-face, and can find out how your food is grown.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): GMOs are plants and animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (modified) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism. Genetic modification is currently allowed in conventional farming in America, but not allowed in a number of European countries. There is a lot of controversy around GMOs and we suggest that you read more in depth to better understand the issues.

Gleaning: Historically, gleaning was the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they had been harvested, and was one source of feeding the poor. Today, many farmers markets glean from their markets. At the end of each Market, the farmers and vendors give a portion of what they have left to charitable organizations including food banks and soup kitchens. The HLFM and our vendors also glean at the end of every Market day, and donate fresh produce and baked goods to Casa San Francisco’s Food Bank in Milton, DE.

Naturally Grown, Naturally Raised, Certified Naturally Grown. The use of the word “natural” in supermarket labeling is not regulated.  However, the USDA does have a definition of “naturally raised” that growers of meat can voluntarily adopt.  There is much controversy over the actual definition, but essentially, it requires that the animal not be fed growth hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products. On the fruits and vegetables side of the table, we have Naturally Grown and Certified Naturally Grown. There is no standard definition of “Naturally Grown.” On the other hand, Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is an independent non-profit organization that has Certification Standards that take as their starting point the USDA Organic Standards.  However, this is an independent program that is not in any way affiliated with the USDA’s National Organic Certification Program. CNG claims to be an alternative program for small-scale direct-market farmers using natural methods. They now certify over 500 farms nationwide. Certification is done through farm inspection by other farmers. Standards are available to view online at naturallygrown.org.

No antibiotics: Antibiotics are given to livestock in order to treat or prevent diseases. Advertising “no antibiotics” may indicate high animal husbandry standards. Ask the farmer to explain how she/he avoids antibiotic use. (There is concern that anti-microbial drugs are overused in large industrial chicken, pig, and cattle farms. See Farmacology.)

No hormones: Hormones are commonly used in commercial farming to increase the growth rate of beef cattle or to increase the production of milk in dairy cattle. Some of these hormones are natural, some are synthetic, and some are genetically engineered. If a farmer or rancher states no hormones, then they do not engage in these practices.

No spray/pesticide free: This indicates that there are no sprays applied to the produce. This does not necessarily indicate what farming methods a farmer is using, or that the produce is free of pesticide residue. Ask the farmer if anything has been applied to the surface of the produce if this is a concern to you.

Raw-Milk Cheese: Cheese and other dairy products made from milk that is not pasteurized say “raw milk” on the label. In the U.S., raw milk cheeses are required to be aged for 60 days as a safety precaution.

Vine-ripened/Tree-ripened: Fruit that has been allowed to ripen on the vine or tree. Many fruits that are shipped long distances while still unripe and firm are then treated with ethylene gas to “ripen” and soften them

HLFM Funds Shields Elementary School Raised Bed Garden Project

We sent a check for $500 to Dr. Patricia Magee at Shields Elementary to fund a raised bed garden project at the school.  The project will teach children about composting, soil testing and preparation, germination, harvesting, and other gardening topics by allowing them to get their hands dirty in their own sustainable garden at the School.  There is an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents in this country, and we believe that this program will also help educate our children at Shields about healthy eating and the importance of physical activity. We are committed in this community to helping educate our children on the importance of a healthy diet, exercise, and taking care of our resources, and salute Dr. Magee and Shields for their advocacy of this program.

HLFM Store Posters:

Every year, we print store posters detailing the time and locations of the HLFM market. If you manage or work in a local store, and would like one to put into your window, please contact us at historiclewesfarmersmarket@comcast.net or call us at 302-644-1436, and we will see that you get one.


Come shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, flowers and more! If you would like to volunteer for the market, become a vendor or have any questions or ideas, please contact us at at historiclewesfarmersmarket@comcast.net or 302-644-1436.