On Saturday, May 30 the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market begins their outdoor spring season. The market is open from 10 a.m. until 1p.m. on 10th Avenue South, by Rotary Park.
Farmer’s Markets in B.C. have been deemed an essential service by the province, and the Cranbrook market will be following CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Jessica Kazemi is the new manager for the market this year, and she is spearheading the changes that will need to take place in order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. She says this year the market will be held outside earlier than it has been in the past.
“We will be a food only market with essential items such as produce, meat, bread, wine, liquor and prepared foods. We will not be able to have live music for the time being as we are having to discourage people from gathering and socializing. The market will have an entrance and exit as well as socially distant waiting areas and line-ups,” said Kazemi.
Vendors also have new guidelines and will be pre-packaging items when possible to keep them sanitary. Some vendors will also have a sneeze guard between themselves and their patrons.
“We will be encouraging vendors to use card based payments but many may not be able to do so. We have asked that if a vendor is accepting cash that they have a designated person handling it and that this person does not touch any of the food,” Kazemi explained. “You may bring a bag with you but please keep it on your person and pack it yourself once your items have been handed to you. We are asking for those attending to treat the market like a grocery store, and to ‘shop not stop’ so we can accommodate the people that may have to wait to enter the market.”
She adds that vendors who sell crafts, candles, pottery and products such as soaps and cleaning products are not considered essential at the moment, so they will not be able to sell their items at this time.
“Fresh produce, locally raised meats, prepared foods, baked goods and wine and spirits are considered essential items at the moment,” said Kazemi. “We have added an online store to our website so that you will still be able to buy all of the other amazing products and services and not miss out this summer.”
Spring markets will be held on May 30th and June 13th, with the summer season kicking off on June 27th and running every Saturday until mid October. Kazemi said the market will follow the normal schedule unless there are new restrictions introduced by the government.
For those interested in becoming a vendor, applications are now open for the remainder of the spring and summer seasons. Check out the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market website at www.cranbrookfarmersmarket.com for the application as well as vendor guidelines and tips. The new COVID-19 guidelines for vendors are also found on the website, which must be followed as a part of the agreement to sell at the market.
Kazemi says that despite the current situation with COVID-19, market vendors and volunteers are excited to be able to offer local options.
“We realize that these are strange and uncertain times and your health and safety is of our utmost importance. In B.C. we collectively worked hard to flatten the curve and we want to continue on this path while still being able to support our local economy,” Kazemi said. “When you shop directly from our local farmers and food producers, you are not only buying fresh, delicious, nutritionally dense food, you are also supporting our local and regional economy and keeping farms in our area in sustainable food production. We are so excited to start up again and we look forward to seeing everyone soon (from a distance).”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.