KENNETT SQUARE—Buying local, eating healthy, reducing our carbon footprint, and building community are all popular concepts—and most people agree they’re important. But life is busy, and sometimes there’s a disconnect between what we aspire to and how we prioritize spending our time and money. The Kennett Square Farmers Market offers a simple—and enjoyable—opportunity to reconnect with what we believe.

Every Friday afternoon, local farmers, bakers, and makers bring the best of what they’ve grown and created to State Street and the Genesis Walkway. Farmers Market customers walk a few short steps from the parking garage to find a feast of fresh and local—from just-picked, naturally-grown vegetables and perfectly ripe fruit to fresh-baked bread and desserts, grass-fed meats, milk, yogurts, and cheeses, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, local honey, hot tamales, gorgeous plants and flowers, maple syrup, ciders, and more from over 30 full- and part-time vendors.

The Kennett Square Farmers Market, one of the most well-established in the region, was started 20 years ago to add vibrancy to the town and connect customers with growers. Kennett Square looked to West Chester for guidance as it structured the Market to maintain the integrity of a growers-only market.

The Market, now an initiative of Historic Kennett Square, kicks off its twentieth anniversary season on May 3 with the return of many of the community’s favorite vendors as well as some new vendors.

In addition to special activities for the whole family, opening day will feature live music from Trio Voz Sentimiento. Look for commemorative events throughout the season, as well as stories from many of the growers and vendors who make the Kennett Square market one of the most diverse in the area.

“Trust, transparency, and authenticity are important to growing our local food system, as is understanding the seasonality of food,” said Market manager Ros Fenton. “The producers at Market want to sell direct to the local community and truly value connecting with their customers. And without a middleman, your purchase benefits the producers directly and has a greater impact on their livelihood and our local economy.”

In this era of impersonal, click-through shopping, Market customers enjoy friendly smiles and building relationships with farmers, bakers, and makers. Carrots, greens, and beans taste infinitely better when there are just hours, instead of days or weeks, between harvest time and dinner time. Knowing and supporting the people who grow them with love and care makes them taste better still.

New part-time vendors this year include Day Spring Farm, with sheep milk cheeses and wool fiber arts, Little Goat Coffee Roasting bringing freshly roasted, organically grown, and fair-trade coffee, Honey & Rose Bakery with granola and small-batch baked goods, and Rosie’s Kettle Corn (featuring locally grown popcorn) on First Fridays.

In response to customer requests there will be more ready-to-eat options this season. Taste of Puebla brings hot tamales each week, and Vesta BBQ and Natalie’s Fine Foods truck (once a month) will also join the list of vendors.

“The Farmers Market is a gathering point for the community,” Fenton says, “where you can meet up with friends and neighbors. It fulfills our human need for connection and the basic physical need for wholesome, real foods. Everyone is welcome, and all ages find something to enjoy! Families appreciate the fun and educational activities for children throughout the season, and the Kids Table is a favorite spot to hang out with books, coloring, and games.”

In addition to ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations, special Market events this year will include a Pollination Celebration on June 21st, National Farmers Market Week on Aug. 9, a Fermentation Fest at the end of September, and an Apple Harvest Celebration on October 11th. The Winter Season Market continues with shorter hours in December, then bi-weekly January through April.

Support local farmers and producers and create delicious and healthy farm-to-table meals this season. Market hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. every Friday, rain or shine, through Nov. 22. For a complete listing of what’s fresh each week, go to https://historickennettsquare.com/events/kennett-square-farmers-market/

Kennett Square Farmers Market

Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m., May 3–Nov. 22

100 block of E. State St. & the Genesis Walkway

Parking: Linden St. garage or street parking (free after 5 p.m.)

ATM on site / credit cards accepted by many vendors

Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) accepted by some farms

Follow along on Facebook & Instagram @ksqfarmersmarket

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