With flooding earlier this week, some farms in our region are experiencing additional loss and frustration in this already uncertain time. You likely already know that shopping at farmers markets is one of the best ways to support local farms. Preordering what you want can also add a level of stability for farmers right now. Many farms are offering a preorder option at markets (some require it). This can take a little more advance work on your part, but it’s worth it to know that you will get what you want—and that you are helping farmers plan as well. Here’s a guide to the process.
Like so much else, visiting a farmers market these days has changed. Once an active hub of social interaction in our region, markets now feature social distance protocols, no-touch payment transactions, and sometimes fewer vendors. While outdoor markets and buying direct from farmers can be considerably safer than closed-in grocery stores, it’s important as shoppers that we change our behavior as well to help keep these markets running as safely as possible.
Spring continues to blossom, even when it feels like the world is on hold. Many of us hunkered down at home are beginning vegetable gardens and eager to find plant starts, typically in wide supply at farmers markets this time of year. Though many farmers markets have fewer vendors or are shifting to preorder models, you can still get spring starts in the age of COVID-19.
This is normally the week we would be reporting on the opening dates for spring outdoor tailgate markets throughout the region. The COVID-19 emergency has left farmers markets, like most businesses, in a state of uncertainty. We will do our best to keep you posted on market schedules in the coming weeks, but it’s best to check directly with your market to confirm if it will be open or if it has changed shopping procedures. Contact details for farmers markets, as well as links to social media where the most up-to-date information is often posted, can be found in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.