The New Glasgow Farmers Market will be opening partially this Saturday for in-person shopping, after over a month of the new online pick-up service.
As business in the county and province begin to open up after the quarantine phase of COVID-19, the farmers market is following suit and using the good weather to their advantage to partially open the market outside for a small number of producers to take advantage of.
“A lot of vendors aren’t ready to come back,” said Kristi Russell, market manager.
For the time being, there will still be online orders for those who cannot or are not prepared to offer their goods in person again. Russell shared that the in-person aspect will be extremely beneficial for the farmers who are vendors with the market as it is harvest time for many crops and if they harvest a lot of new vegetables after the Wednesday cut off date for online ordering they will still be able to sell the fresh vegetables to customers.
“It gives people that don’t have access to online ordering a chance come out,” Russell said.
Although there will be 15 to 17 producers available on site there will be no prepared food vendors as regulations for that are a bit more strict and the market is working with vendors to figure things out.
Those who also have an online order will be able to shop in person and pick up their order when they’re done.
The online order pick up will be changing from a drive-through system to pick up at a table, however, to allow this to happen and give more people the chance to check out what they can buy at the time. All online orders will not have time restrictions based on names anymore as well. Online orders will be available for pick up any time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Russell said all customers will have to do is approach the table to tell the volunteer their name and then the volunteer will place their order on the table so the customer can put the goods in their reusable bag. Because of the new system, all those shopping are encouraged to bring a reusable bag.
Russell shared that to prevent people congregating there will be no garbage cans or outside eating areas as usual.
“We’re not encouraging people to sit and gather at eating tables,” she said.
Each of the vendors present will have their own safety precautions in place but Russell assured that there will be a sanitizing station available for customers as well. This will be the first phase for the full reopening of the market on Saturdays and Russell shared that if things go well and as restrictions lift further the next step would be opening the year-round building for more vendors to set up in.
Due to some of the vendors going back to manning their own stands, Russell added that she is in need of volunteers to help out with the online orders, to collect the items and take them to the table for the customer to bag up. She reminded to bring reusable bags for this as well as cash as the ATM will not be available.