Get your fill of fresh food every Friday at Milton Farmers Market

August 31, 2018

The Milton Farmers Market will run through early October from 3 to 6 p.m., Fridays. Special festivals will enliven the schedule by highlighting seasonal foods. When summer gives way to cooler temperatures and harvest season, the Milton Farmers Market will be ready with a slew of vendors offering in-season produce, as well as two fall-themed festivals.

Come for an Oktoberfest event at the market Friday, Oct. 5, featuring fall offerings and pumpkin carving. Each Friday’s market features live musical performances, and the Oktoberfest music will be provided by Hooverville, which offers classic rock, blues and country.

Return Friday, Nov. 16, for the Harvest Market and start getting Thanksgiving provisions together. Music for the Harvest Market will be performed by Slinging Daises, which delivers barefoot soul music.

Fresh produce abounds at Milton Farmers Market. Baywater Greens offers locally grown hydroponic lettuces, Dittmar Family Farms provides fresh produce and plants, T.S. Smith & Sons brings a variety of fruits and vegetables (plus donuts), and Nash’s Veggies, returning this year, supplies in-season produce grown in Lincoln. Evans Farm offers lettuce, cantaloupes, melons, peaches and more, while Stag Run Farm provides locally grown apples, asparagus and homemade honey.

The edible offerings don’t stop with fruits and vegetables. Alaska Wild Seafoods catches salmon, cod and halibut in Alaska and ships them straight to Delaware, and The Cheese Board has imported artisan cheese sourced worldwide. Pasqualini’s Bakery makes Italian pastries, pies, cakes and cookies from scratch, and Nana’s Delites dreams up many sweet temptations. Sopra Della Bella, a new vendor for 2018, supplies homemade pasta sauces, and Ada’s Picnic, another new seller, makes picnic-ready potato salads, pasta salads and sides. Eastern Shore Kettle Corn satisfies a sweet-and-salty tooth, and Backyard Jams & Jellies makes over 85 flavors of jarred spreads. VanAuken Fudge is locally made and ever-so-smooth.

Among the offerings found at the market are sausages, ham and bacon from The Butcher Block, which Milton shoppers already know from its downtown storefront location. Co-owner Brian Tatem says buyers appreciate getting top-quality meats that are locally processed in small batches. "We smoke our own bacon and ham, and people are really into the freshly smoked sausages," Tatem said. The Butcher Block's relationships with small farms around the country keep it supplied with heritage-breed pork and grass-fed beef. For the best taste, Tatum said, customers should cook and serve Butcher Block sausages within a few days of purchase, since they're made without the preservatives that keep mass-market meats on shelves longer. "So take it right home and grill it up," he said.

Bill Davis was making pasta sauces in a Vermont restaurant 25 years ago and getting rave reviews – so much so that he decided the sauce could support its own business. His company, Sopra Della Baia, offers the jarred pasta sauce at the Milton Farmers Market. It's made in the commercial kitchen at The Penguin restaurant in Bethany Beach, where Davis' wife and daughters are partners, so even in the resort's off-season, the kitchen stays busy. There are no trade secrets in the recipe. Davis said, "One of the things that makes it unique is no added salt and no added sugar. It's all fresh." His favorite meal to prepare with the sauce is linguine with clams or mussels.

If shoppers come to the market hungry for a made-to-order late lunch or dinner, they’ll find a smorgasbord to choose from. A new food truck this year is Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, which has quickly made a mark with its Ocean City, Md. and Rehoboth Beach store locations. Abbott’s Grill pulls up the barbecue once monthly, offering smoky chicken, cool lemonade and fresh specials. The Corn Exchange has delectable ears of corn with tangy, buttery toppings on offer, and Blotto Gelato puts a kick into gelato and sorbet. Java Jukebox offers hot coffee, cocoa and cider, and the farmers market also offers Dogfish Head beer on draft.

Another new vendor at the market caters to the indulgent side of eating. Carl's Gourmet Hots & Sandwiches owner Carl Haber will offer shoppers an overstuffed pastrami Reuben, thick grilled cheese or specialty hot dog – loaded with mac and cheese or piled with chili – on rolls baked in Milford. "I was tired of going other places and getting bad hot dogs for an outrageous price," said Haber, who managed restaurants for more than 20 years. "If you're after health food, don't come to my cart."

For shoppers whose fingers might be greasy from that chili dog, Sand Hill Soap Co. sells homemade soaps made with just three base ingredients: olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. To add scents and textures, maker Koreen Pacher mixes in pureed carrots or cucumbers. She also grows, dries and infuses lemongrass into the olive oil. Customers tell her the soaps don't dry their skin like store-bought bars, Pacher said. A new product she's bringing to the market this year is body wash, offered in lavender, patchouli and eucalyptus scents.

Rounding out the market’s attractions are Charlie’s Treats Bakery, which creates homemade doggie treats; and By Sharp Edge, which can sharpen items from kitchen knives to lawnmower blades while customers browse the market.

Live music by a rotating schedule of performers will entertain market guests each week.