What to Expect at the 2021 Outdoor Market
Open Forum Recap: Market Guidelines Update with NYSDAM Deputy Commissioner Kevin King
The Federation’s March 31st Zoom forum drew 100 participants anxious to hear what new changes to guidelines for Famers Markets we would see this Spring. Here is what we learned:
I preface this with:
Rules and guidelines are generally in place for safety or to keep order. Whether it be at the highest court in the land or the laws of driving on the road, rules and regulations can truly be seen everywhere.
It’s Still A Pandemic
It is exciting that COVID19 vaccines are available and lots of people have been able to get them, but many people are not yet vaccinated.
SO — we will continue to enforce basic CDC and Department of Agriculture guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID19, and support the wellbeing of all our vendors, our staff, and our shoppers.
What to Expect at the Market
- Mask wearing and social distancing of 6ft remain mandatory at Markets. Masks must be worn properly (covering both nose and mouth) at all times while in the market. Children age 2 and under are exempt from this requirement. Can’t wear a facemask? We offer two alternative shopping methods: e.g. pre-order for curbside pick up or delivery from our Mobile Market or a staff person can shop for you—time permitting. Face shields alone are not allowed. No intimidating or threatening behavior will be tolerated.
- No shoppers will be allowed into the market area before we open.
- Please respect the space and boundaries of those around you, keep 6 ft. distance between you and fellow shoppers; this is a basic requirement and courtesy.
- There will no live music—we cannot have anything that will invite people to congregate. When live in-person performances are allowed again, we will resume hosting local musicians. We appreciate all the great music and talent and we are eager to support our local musicians again in the very near future! If you have some favorite farmers market music please message us and we’ll add it to our play list.
- Sampling—with restrictions: We need to keep samplings outside of the traffic flow. That said, we know how much you all like to sample and we love to offer tastings. We will be designating an area for sampling; similar to how they do in restaurants.
- Kids Programs—one of my personal favorite parts of the market is the children. Last year I was hoping to introduce a children’s program POP (Power of Produce). I am working really hard to SAFELY have 4 events. More about that another time and if anyone would like to volunteer their time to help with this project please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do not crowd around the entrance, go over, under, or around any fenced off area.
As much as we would like to have our market back to “normal” please be patient, stay nourished and help us. This is hard, but we are almost there.
We hope we don’t need to remind you to stay home if you are sick, and to wash your hands before coming into the market, and pets must be leashed.
We are hopeful that we’ll be able to relax these requirements later in the season and we need everyone to work with us until we get there.
Please understand these rules are guided by the space and staff we have available. For anyone who is thinking “But they do this or that at another market,” my response is “That’s nice, but this is how we do it in our family.”
My main focus this season has to be to continue to keep this market safe—vendors, shoppers, and volunteers. I’m very proud of our outdoor market last season and the online market we’ve safely run for the past 52 weeks. I believe that together we can do this!
Cheers to a big new year!