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Delaware’s farmers markets saw record breaking sales again in 2023

James Morrison
Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s farmers markets had a big year in 2023.

The First State’s17 community-run farmers markets rang up $4.14 million in sales last year.

“And that’s the first time we’ve ever reached that $4 million goal. We’re up substantially from 2022 and 2022 was also a record year,” said Delaware Department of Agriculture Marketing Specialist Kathy Jackson.

2023 sales were up over $400,000 from the year before.

This follows a steady growth over the past decade, with the exception coming in 2020 as a result of pandemic-related closures.

Only $1.9 million was made in 2020, down from $3.27 the year before.

The numbers shot back up the following year, with 2021 seeing the second highest sales on record at that time.

Jackson says the pandemic may have actually played a role in helping farmers market sales grow.

“I really think in some ways the pandemic helped us because people who were uncomfortable shopping inside started shopping at farmers markets and found out they liked it. And then continued to shop there,” Jackson explained.

She attributes 2023’s record breaking high to multiple factors.

That includes innovative practices from local farmers, like extending crop seasons, and increasing sustainability in their work, and the continuous behind-the-scenes work from market managers.

Fresh produce comprised 52% of total sales in 2023.

But Jackson notes a growing trend in products like flowers, eggs from multiple birds (chicken, duck, goose, guinea fowl), honey, and locally roasted coffee this year, though a majority of non-produce sales in 2023 came from meats, cheeses, baked goods and canned foods.

The 2024 market season begins in May.

More information can be found online at

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.