Beginning on May 16, the Richfield Farmers Market will kick off its thirty-first season, albeit with a few changes.
“Richfield’s Farmers Market will look and feel a little different this summer,” acknowledged Bonnie Hanna-Powers, Farmers Market coordinator. “Our goal is to provide a safe place for people to still access local food from local producers.”
As everyone’s summer plans continue to adapt for social distancing and virus mitigation, Hanna-Powers and the other organizers of the Farmers Market are creating procedures and protocols to safeguard customers and vendors. From social distancing while in line, to required hand-washing, customers can feel assured that a visit to the market will be a safe and orderly experience.
At the market, a customer can expect the following:
- Customers will all enter from the southwest corner of the expanded market area.
- Only a limited number of customers will be allowed inside the market area at one time to allow for social distancing. Customers will also social distance while they are in line and waiting to shop. Traffic cones will be placed along the path to indicate the appropriate spacing.
- Customers will all be asked to wash their hands as they enter and exit the market area.
- Vendor stalls will be spaced to allow for social distancing, with additional spacing in front of each booth for bagging items and paying for products without physical contact between the customer and the vendor.
- Foot-traffic within the pavilion will be one-way only.
- No on-site eating or sampling will be allowed.
Payment for in-person shopping can still be made with cash, but market staff encourages customers to bring small bills to avoid the need for change. In addition, EBT payments will still be processed through the information booth, which matches the first $10. Some vendors may also accept electronic or contactless payment as well.
Market staff strongly encourages customers to wear facemasks or shields, stay home if they are feeling ill, and to only send one member of the household to the market.
For residents that are pressed for time or those who are self-isolating, a pre-order option is now available. This allows customers to place their orders online, and then collect their products during the Saturday market. Orders must be made by noon on the previous Thursday, and can then be picked up in-person or curbside from the market on Saturdays.
To access the market’s pre-ordering option customers should:
- Visit the Famers Market Facebook Event page: www.facebook.com/RichfieldFarmersMarket/
- Some of the vendors will have their own ordering link, but most will be hosted on this site: www.localline.ca/richfield-farmers-market.
- You must register to order online.
- Place your order by Thursday at noon.
- On Saturday during market hours, pull up in your vehicle, or walk up to the pick-up tent order pickup. The pick-up tent will be located outside of the shopping area and clearly marked. The customer should display their name for market staff to see to locate their order.
“The idea, and the ideal, is that this will be a win-win for both the producers and the customers,” explained Hanna-Powers. “The farmers will be able to access more customers from one location, and the customers can see what is available ahead of time, place an order, and then do a completely contactless pickup from their car.”
Even with the changes that had to be made to the farmers market, staffs’ spirits are still high about the upcoming season.
“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 is bringing to the operations of the Farmers Market, we are still really looking forward to the season,” said Recreation Services Director Amy Markle.
“A few of our vendors have been with the Richfield Farmers Market since the first season in 1990. We hope customers will be out to support them, as well as the new vendors that will be having their first season at the market.”
The market will expand its staffing as well to allow for more customer assistance and monitoring of the market area.