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Delaware's Ag Week highlights farmers markets and more

Claire Austin/Shaun Hicks
Delaware Public Media

Delaware Public Media works with aspiring high school journalists across the state through our youth media program Generation Voice.

Over the coming weeks, we are featuring work produced by Polytech High School students Claire Austin and Shaun Hicks, including this story on Delaware Ag Week.

After two years of being held virtually, The Delaware Department of Agriculture’s annual ag week was held in-person last week in Harrington, bringing farmers like Josh Nash together to find ways to improve what they produce.

“I expect to learn ways to keep the farm under control, keep weeds under control and grow a lot of produce,” said Nash.

It was also an opportunity to celebrate Delaware Farmers Markets. Last year local market sales hit an all-time high – $3.7 million dollars. Numbers Nash hopes to take advantage of in 2023.

“I’m hoping that the farmers markets are consistent this year with last year. I hope we grow on that and I’m just happy to see everybody back out,” said Nash.

And New Castle Farmers Market’s Cornelius Lindsay Jr. has even bigger goals in 2023.

“Expectations for our markets this year would be to grow our weekly attendance across the board, as well as to promote a healthier lifestyle for all of our customers,” said Lindsay Jr.

Last week’s event allowed farmers and market managers to share ideas to keep customers coming,.

“Networking and meeting new people with similar minds. And just trying to make more relationships and things like that to help grow our businesses.” Lindsay jr. noted.

And those conversations produced some new strategies.

“We’re definitely going to try to connect more with the school boards and try to get more information out into the E-news letters.. as well as just continuing word-of-mouth promotion, social media promotion, and things like that,” said Lindsay Jr.

Although selling fruits and veggies often isn’t easy, local farmers say they are proud to offer Delawareans food produced close to home.

“Always having pretty stuff on your table. Always being proud of your stuff, and then when you don’t have pretty stuff, you really do have to just stand behind it and be happy to be there.”

Whether your produce is pretty or there is room to grow, Ag week is helping farmers flourish, offering ideas farmers and market managers hope lead to another record setting year.