ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Trumansburg Farmers’ Market has planned their official opening for Wednesday, May 6 –– providing an alternative for shoppers to buy fresh local produce while introducing new social distancing precautions to keep customers safe.
The market will run every Wednesday from May to October, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Village Park on Route 96.
“We’ve instituted new product packaging, physical distancing and cleaning requirements to keep everyone safe,” said market manager Natalie Baris. “But we never considered not opening. Farmers’ markets are essential services that support individual health and the regional economy.”
Baris is new to the Trumansburg Farmers’ Market –– she was hired in February to manage the market and expand its reach. She previously led New York farmers’ markets in Branchport, Clifton Springs and Victor. She also manages Red Jacket Orchards’ farm store in Geneva.
“We were extremely fortunate to hire Natalie,” said market Board President Evangeline Sarat. “She has the experience we were looking for, connections in the farming community, plenty of ideas on how to grow the market’s resources and stature, and she has been invaluable in opening during these challenging times.”
Trumansburg Mayor Rordan Hart, who shared news of the Farmers’ Market opening on Facebook last week, said that it will be an adjustment for the public for which the market has been a popular summer hangout spot over the last few years.
“Unfortunately, it’s not the social gathering hangout kind of farmers market that we’ve gotten used to in the past. It’s really designed for the vendors to be able to sell produce and sell some goods –– to give members of the community the additional choice of a place to go, to be able to pick up fresh food and fresh produce to take home for as long as we’re in this new normal,” Hart said.
The Trumansburg Farmers’ Market board has held bi-weekly meetings for the last two months, discussing and refining safety protocols that will be necessary for safe operation during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The board has also coordinated with the Village Trustees on proposed safety guidelines and plans to continue the communication regularly as the situation is updated.
“We’ve taken guidance from state and county health officials, and examined the procedures in place at other local markets,” said Sarat. “We feel strongly that the market is an essential resource to local farmers and families, and is more important now than ever.”
New safety protocol in place include:
- Signs will remind customers of state requirements to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces
- Lines marking 6-feet distance from vendors will remind people to distance themselves and avoid crowding
- Only food and health-related vendors will be allowed until limitations on essential businesses are lifted
- Vendors will sell produce in packaging
- Multiple handwashing stations will be available, and public surfaces will be sanitized frequently
- Tables and benches will be off-limits to encourage customers to come and go quickly
- Live music, food trucks and other meal options are on hold until at least June 3.
“As the virus abates and state and local restrictions are lifted, we will incrementally shift the market back to more normal operations,” Baris said. “Health and safety is our top priority.”