Janelle Vane of Wilson's Farm Market knows her fruit.
"It may look like a strawberry, but it doesn't taste like a strawberry if it was picked before it was ripe and shipped in from California," Vane said from behind her foldable table in a parking lot outside The Avenue at White Marsh.
Friday morning marked the shopping center's , which Vane assists in organizing.
"Everything you see here is considered tree-ripened. It's going to be sweet delicious, and kids are going to be turned on to them because they taste good," she added.
Daniel Shumaker and his 9-year-old daughter Kalin arrived at the market in the afternoon.
"We just saw the sign and decided to check it out," Daniel Shumaker. "I'd like to come to more of these."
His daughter agreed. "I like to get nice, fresh food. The workers were very nice and kind to us," she said.
Sellers at the kick-off market included Bees by the Bay, Deep Run Farms, Hills Forest Fruit Farm and Wilson’s Farm Market. At least three more vendors are expected later on in the season, each Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. through October.
Greg Horner of Deep Run Farms is participating for the first time this year.
"We nearly sold out today," he said. "We're definitely coming back."
In addition to freshness, flavor and environmental benefits, Vane said the market plays an important economic role.
"It's a huge part of our livelihood, selling direct," she said. "Without farmers markets we'd probably all struggle a lot more than we do already."
Tell us where you go for farm goods and fresh produce in the comments.