Bee happy! Georgetown Farmers’ Market offers taste of honey

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Lenore Brady of Stag Run Farm offers Michael Kafel of Georgetown a sample of honey at the Georgetown Farmers’ Market.

GEORGETOWN – It’s not about the birds.

It’s about the bees.

Raw honey will local connections to Sussex County agriculture as well as distant links to New Jersey blueberries and cranberries, California almonds and Florida oranges was among the offerings from Stag Run Farm – one of the vendors that set up shop Wednesday at the Georgetown Farmers’ Market season opener.

Stag Run Farm, the third largest asparagus producer in Delaware, has a growing orchard with some 1,000 apple trees, said Lenore Brady, who owns the farm with her husband Craig.

“The big thing is honey – local,” said Ms. Brady. “I have 20 hives on my orchard. I have the bees to pollinate my orchard. The honey is like an after product. I need pollination.”

Through friendship with a girlfriend who is one of the biggest pollinators in the country, Ms. Brady said Stag Run Farm is able to provide honey with a taste of almond, orange blossom, blueberry and cranberry.

However, the local buzz – butterbean honey, produced through busy bees’ pollination of lima beans and soybeans – is Stag Run Farm’s No. 1 seller.

“It’s all raw honey. It’s about the bees. Wherever the bees are, that is your flavor,” said Ms. Brady. “I do not flavor any of this honey. The bees are it. The bees make the flavor.”

The grounds of popular 16 Mile Brewery on South Bedford Street is the new host venue for the farmers’ market, sponsored by the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and its VIP partners (visit www.georgetowncoc.com for a list of VIP partners).

“I think we have finally found our niche,” said Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Duffield. “We have lots of space to work with. We think this venue is ideal for capturing even more customers to the market. Certainly the draw of 16 Mile is evident. It was a no brainer when it was discussed. Chad Campbell, the owner of 16 Mile, has been anxious to become involved with the market.”

The market will be open Wednesdays through Sept. 16, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Christel Folke, an instructor in Delaware Technical Community College’s Applied Agriculture Department, is back as the market master.

In addition to traditional fruits and vegetables, Georgetown market vendors offer variety, including seafood, meat, bakery/bread, dairy, plants and flowers as well as Delaware Tech’s hydroponic greens, vegetables and plants.

“Because of the wonderful marketing and media relations that 16 Mile has, we have been able engage and reach out to a wider community of vendors,” said Ms. Duffield. “So we really have an exciting lineup of farmers and market vendors.”

Among the vendors: T.S. Smith & Sons, a multi-generation operation in Bridgeville.

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Chris Clifton of T.S. Smith & Sons in Bridgeville readies their stand for the opening of the Georgetown Farmers’ Market.

Chris Clifton, 20-year-old stepson of T.S. Smith & Sons co-owner Matt Smith, has been working at the farm for about 10 years, mostly in the summer. He said all signs point to a very good produce season.

“The cold and harsh winter kind of ended very quickly and transitioned to a very mild and honestly kind of wet spring. We were really fortunate to dodge some late frost, which traditionally wipes the blooms off every plant you see here,” said Mr. Clifton, who attended Norwich University in Vermont and will be attending Penn State University this fall. “It has been very good. I’ve read the Farmer’s Almanac and it could be kind of warm this summer. If things stay how they are, it will be a bumper crop.”

In conjunction with the market, 16 Mile Brewery is coordinating Cruise In car shows on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

Georgetown Mayor Bill West and town councilwoman Chris Lecates were on hand to help out at Wednesday’s opener.

“The town has become more and more involved,” Ms. Duffield said. “We have really upped our game as far as advertising and promotion. It is a community event. We just want Georgetown to become a destination.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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