News From The Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market

by Dave on April 7, 2010

Hello to all friends of the Historic Lewes Farmers Market!

Only 8 more weeks until the market opens on May 29!

New Dates for the 2010 Season

The Market this year will be held every Saturday from May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend) to October 9, 2010. We continue our commitment to keeping the Historic Lewes Farmers Market primarily a Market that sells local fruits and vegetables-a “real” farmers market.

Almost all of the vendors from last year will be back at the Market this year. However, due to the limited amount of space at the Lewes Historical Society we can only feature a limited number of select vendors. We had to actually turn away some new vendors this year, and put them on our waiting list. We had a couple of spaces that opened from departing vendors, and we are very, very excited about our new vendors for this fifth market season. We believe that these farmers will help the Market become even more diverse. Here are some new vendor highlights:

Uncle Ernie’s Tangier Sound Oysters’ mission is to contribute to the restoration of the decimated wild oyster population while providing a sustainable year-round source of flavorful Tangier Sound oysters. If you are thinking what we were thinking when they first contacted us, then we were both incorrect. Oysters are healthful and delicious in the summer, and the old “R” month rule doesn’t apply here for four reasons:

1) In the past when rapid transportation and refrigeration did not exist or was not reliable, oysters in warmer months could, and did, cause many people to get sick, primarily from microorganisms from the water the oysters grow in. These are naturally occurring organisms that are in all salt and brackish water worldwide. With high temperatures they reproduce rapidly when removed from the water and produce toxins that can make people sick. Today, these issues are effectively controlled by rigid temperature and handling requirements enforced by the FDA and the various State Health Departments. No oyster grower ever wants anyone to get sick from their oysters, so they all rigorously adhere to their HACCP plan to ensure this is no longer an issue. (It’s always important to buy oysters from a trusted source.)

2) The non “R” months are also the months in which the oysters spawn. Because of this, most jurisdictions do not allow the harvest of wild oysters in these months, so when the primary source of oysters was wild oysters, they were generally not available in the non-“R” months.

3) In warm months, oysters devote most of their energy to reproduction. After they spawn, they are literally exhausted, and their texture becomes thin and runny. Although healthful, they are not the oyster most people would really want to eat. But there are Summer Oysters.

4) Summer Oysters: In aquaculture, scientists have selectively bred the native Eastern Oyster, to provide an oyster that does not spawn. Because they don’t spawn, and spend no energy on reproduction, they stay nice and fat in the summer, just like a winter oyster. This is a technique used with different species of food grown in agriculture as well. The non-reproductive animal, or plant, is called a Triploid. Instead of having two chromosomes (Diploid) that determine the gender, they have an extra chromosome, and have no gender, hence no reproduction. An added feature for the Triploid animal or plant, is that because they spend no energy on reproduction, they generally are more vigorous, and grow faster and bigger. There is absolutely no detectable difference in taste, texture, nutrition, or look in these oysters. Uncle Ernie’s Tangier Sound Oysters grows both Diploid and Triploid oysters. During the summer, the Diploids are left in the water to do their part in restoring the decimated oyster population by spawning literally billions of disease resistant oyster larvae to find a home in the wild. Also during the summer, the Triploid oysters are offered as a delicious, fat, flavorful, nutritious gastronomical delight for all of us.

Nice Farms Creamery is a value-added operation to the 201 acre Miller and Tanner Dairy Farm located near Federalsburg, Maryland. Bob Miller, after completing a five-year career as an Army officer, opened the creamery in the fall of 2009. Bob bottles creamline milk, chocolate milk, and yogurt just yards away from where the cows are milked. The milk used by the creamery comes from 40 pastured dairy cows managed by his parents Bob Miller and Chase Tanner. They have been in the dairy business for over 30 years and are dedicated to producing high quality, grass fed dairy products-free from artificial hormones.

Springfield Farms began its sheep history when the owners went to an auction to buy a saddle and came home with three sheep (happens to the best of us at an auction). They now have prize-winning flocks of 150 Romney ewes and 125 Lincoln ewes. We have visited their farm and can verify that the sheep are kept clean and treated very humanely. They will be bringing lamb chops, rack of lamb, leg of lamb, ground lamb, leg steaks, and about every other cut of lamb that you can think of. They will also be selling from their own sheep: raw wool, yarn, wool roving, blankets, socks, and more.

Twin Post Farm raises Angus beef, grain, sheep, hogs, goats, chickens, and ducks. They will be bringing their chicken and duck eggs to the Market, and have been proud 4-H leaders for 13 years.

Hoedown Outside
There are a few (and I mean very few) tickets left for the HLFM hoedown Saturday, April 24. Don’t be callin’ us and cryin’ when the tickets are all sold out! Hope that you’ve been saving your coins as I just got a sneak peek at the live auction items. Now, I have been to a lot of fundraisers with some pretty spectacular auctions, but these items seem pretty durn special to me.

Folk are still talking about the poolside barbeque for 20 that was auctioned off in 2008. Well, Chris Holt and Emory Bevill are offering up their beautiful estate again this year for this event. How about a gift certificate for a 2-night stay for family and/or friends at the Inn at Canal Square with lunch and dinner thrown in? Or an elegant dinner for ten at the lovely home of John Roman and Bill McGee? There are a number of other fabulous auction items, but you have to be there in order to bid. Hoedown tickets are $75, and for that you get a barbeque dinner with all the fixins’, wine and beer, and the chance to dance ’till the cows come home to the fun sounds of Big Hat, No Cattle and their two lovely vocalists.

Email us at or call 302-644-1436 today to order your tickets-all your friends will be there with big Stetsons, saloon girl skirts, and lots of boots. Why miss the Mid-Atlantic event of the year?

Fresh Food Film Festival–May 15th, Milton Theater
As part of our educational mission we are beginning a film festival featuring movies that will help us all understand the issues of sustainable local farming. We will be showing our first film, Food, Inc., on Saturday, May 15th at the Milton Theatre. This Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature takes a long, hard look at our nation’s food industry and its highly mechanized underbelly that most Americans don’t see. Filmmaker Robert Kenner shows how our food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. The film features interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food), and others. If you really want to understand how food is mass-produced in this country and how it affects our children, and us then you need to see this film.

Date: Saturday, May 15th
Where: Milton Theatre – Milton Delaware
When: 6 pm showing of the Academy Award nominated film Food, Inc.
Tickets: $12 and $10 seniors
Call for tickets: 302-684-3400. Leave your message and your call will be returned.
Includes: Free healthy nibbles and noshes
Social Hour with Cash Bar will start at 5 pm
Discussion, Questions and Answers to follow the 95 minute film

This event is sponsored by the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and The Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market–to celebrate the May start of our Farmers Market season and launch our on-going Fresh Food Film Festival.

Let’s Move is a new campaign with First Lady Michelle Obama as spokesperson that is trying to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity in one generation. This is quite a challenge. According to the American Diabetes Association if current trends continue, nearly one in three children born in 2000 (and one in two minorities) will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Diabetes is linked to heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney disease. Processed foods have really increased the amount of fat, sugar, and calories that we consume. And did you know that almost 42 percent of schools do not offer any fresh fruits or raw vegetables on a daily basis. If you want to find out more about the Let’s Move campaign go to There’s also a really interesting article in the March 22 issue of Newsweek about the challenges we face in trying to reduce childhood obesity rates. Go to Culture of Corpulence to find out more.

Bill Stevenson Sad News:
We are very sorry to have to convey the news that our favorite “chicken man” Bill Stevenson (Eggs of a Feather) who brought Ole Whitey and other regular chicken “guests” to the Market, has suffered a serious stroke that has left him paralyzed on his right side and his speech impaired. Bill did sell his eggs at the Market, but he mainly came to help educate us about chickens and Guinea hens. If it wasn’t for Bill many of the kids who come to Market might not ever have had the chance to see a live chicken. How about sending him a note or card? He is at Lifecare at Lofland Park, 715 East King St., Seaford De.19973, Room # 216 B. There is also a benefit fund set up to help with his many expenses that continue while he is incapacitated, such as keeping his flock fed and watered, paying for the electricity, and his property insurances.

Donations to his benefit fund may be mailed to:
The William W. Stevenson, Jr. Benefit Fund
c/o PNC Bank
2 Pennsylvania Ave
Bethany Beach DE 19930
please include Tax ID# 30-6228734

Historic Lewes Farmers Market on Facebook-Join Us Online!
Thanks to Lisa Zechiel, the HLFM now has it’s very own Facebook page-it’s fun, informative, and has lots of pics, recipes, comments, links to good articles, etc. I try to get there regularly, and you should too. Just go to Facebook and search for Historic Lewes Farmers Market.

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