Farmers Markets are a Source of Healthy, Safe Food for Your Family
The Bongards Farmers Market Team continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 health crisis, seeking guidance from our partners at Carver County Public Health, the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, and adopting best practices from markets in Minnesota and across the country. Governor Tim Walz has recognized farmers markets as essential public institutions that serve the public with fresh, nutrient-dense foods.
The health and safety of our vendors, customers, and volunteers is the market’s top concern. In these unique times, the market will operate as a food store, not a social gathering. Social distancing will be enforced, and customers will be encouraged to get in, get the goodies, and go home.
We are taking the following steps to keep our customers, vendors, and volunteers safe and healthy:
- All customers, volunteers, and vendors should stay home if they feel sick or if a member of their family is not feeling well.
- Public hand washing stations and hand sanitizer will be available. Shoppers will be encouraged to use these upon entry and exit from the market (and as often as you like in between.)
- Vendor booths will be spaced farther apart to avoid crowding. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture requires a 12-foot spacing between vendor stalls to allow for social distancing.
- Placement of an empty table in front of where purchases are made, and money is exchanged will aid in maintaining 6 feet of social distancing between shopper and vendor. (As noted below vendors must wear a mask if social distancing cannot be maintained.)
- For now, the market will be a shopping destination, not a social gathering. As our market is an outdoor market there are no capacity limits if 6-foot social distancing can be maintained.
- Shoppers do not have to wear masks but must maintain 6-foot social distancing.
- Workers (vendors, market staff, volunteers) only need to wear masks if 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Food vendors are allowed with all ready-to-eat food and drink packaged “to go.”
- Non-food vendors such as craft vendors are welcome to sell at our market this year.
- Because Bongards Market is not considered a VENUE, which would require implementation of further precautions, (face masks required by all, capacity limits, etc.,) activities which fall under the definition of VENUE activities are not allowed. These activities include:
- Onsite food consumption, including food sampling, will not be allowed.
- Live music and other entertainment are not allowed.
- Cooking demonstrations are not allowed.
- Personal care services such as massage therapy are not allowed.
- We are working with vendors to create and enhance their online sales presence, allowing customers to pre-order and prepay with no-contact payment methods.
- Our PoP (Power of Produce) program will be offered this season with some modifications.
- We will add to and modify this list of strategies as the public health situation changes and as we learn of new best practices. Thanks for your patience and patronage of local farmers and food businesses.
Revised April 2021