The Cochrane Farmers’ Market and COVID-19
What you need to know
Farmers’ markets play a critical role in the local food distribution network. Farmers’ markets remain open as an essential service, providing a vital source of fresh fruits, vegetables and food staples for our communities. We must be mindful that our farmers’ markets could be jeopardized if we don’t each do our part to stay safe during this public health crisis.
This year the farmers’ market will not be the community hub we all love – the place where we gather to do our weekly shopping while taking time to socialize with friends and neighbours. Now is the time that we must follow public health and safety advisories and resist the urge to linger and socialize. We all have an important role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Observe Public Health Orders
• DO NOT visit the market if you have any sign of illness, suspected exposure or have recently travelled.
• Appropriate and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as disposable or reusable face coverings is recommended.
Controlling Customer Numbers
• Do not come to the market with a group of family and friends. Choose a healthy designated shopper for each household, and reach out to elderly family and neighbours to include their shopping lists.
• “Senior Hour” between 9 – 10am: We strongly request the general public give priority to our more vulnerable populations (including seniors over 60, those who are immunocompromised and caregivers) .
• If you identify as healthy, under 60 years old and not living with someone who is high-risk, please refrain from attending the market until after 10am. Please leave children at home, if possible.
• We will be monitoring the number of visitors to avoid crowding. Be prepared to possibly stand in a physically distanced line while you wait at the market entry.
• As you shop in the market, please observe physical distancing to keep yourself and others safe. Reminders are posted around the market. The market is open and spacious, we can easily observe this distancing regulation if we all remain aware.
• Vendors will change from week-to-week. Refer to weekly vendor lists posted on our Facebook page and the Market by the Bow page or sign up for weekly e-news at the bottom of this page.
• Pre-order for market pickup when possible to reduce financial transactions at the market
• Prepare a shopping list before your visit so you can move quickly through the market.
• Check the vendor lists at each aisle in the market to find the vendors on your list.
• Vendors will serve one customer at a time, respectfully wait your turn in a physically distanced line.
• 2 metre spacing will be delineated at most vendor stalls with chalk markings. If a line reaches its maximum length (usually 2 customers) please visit another stall and return when that line shortens.
• To reduce cross-contamination, do not touch products you do not intend to buy. Ask for or point at selected product to prevent handling prior to purchase.
• Payment methods: vendors may offer contact-less payment methods to minimize cash transactions
• Vendors will bag products selected for purchase. If you have your own reusable bags or market basket, items will be placed on a transfer surface after purchase, you will be responsible to bag your own items.
• Leave the market zone when you have completed your shopping so other customers may enter. Suggested shopping time should be 30 minutes or less.
• Direct sales from vendor: customers can purchase directly while respecting modified purchase methods being utilized by individual vendors
• Walk-up pick up from vendor: individual vendors may offer the option to pick up prepaid orders at the vendor booth
• Drive-thru contact-less delivery: individual vendors may offer the option to obtain prepaid orders with contact-less delivery in the drive-thru zone located adjacent to the main market.
Additional Safety Measures
• You will be able to purchase ready-to-go meals and take-out options in the main market or the new “Food To Go Zone” but there are no seating or gathering places in the market. All food and beverage must be consumed outside of the main market area or off-site – no food or beverages are allowed in the main market area.
• All product sampling has been suspended.
• Thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands before arriving and after leaving the market to protect yourself and others.
• Volunteers will be cleaning and sanitizing high-frequency touch points, fortunately these are minimal in an outdoor market.
• Hand sanitizer is available at the market for your use. Please sanitize your hands frequently after touching surfaces.
• Vendors will be cleaning and sanitizing high touch surfaces in their stall, including payment devices.
• Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly when you get home.
We’re All In This Together
Please remember that the Cochrane Farmers’ Market is run ENTIRELY by volunteers who are doing their best to ensure government regulations are followed. We are all committed to ensuring that the market is a safe experience for visitors and vendors alike. We ask for your patience during these difficult circumstances. Please be kind!