Maple Grove’s Farmers Market Opens with Modifications
The Maple Grove Farmers Market opened on Thursday with modifications to accommodate social distancing. There’s more space between vendor booths, a limited number of people are allowed in the market place, and hand-washing stations are available too. You can also check out the list of pre-sale options that will encourage quick, lower-contact shopping.
“We are proud to foster a connection between local farmers, food makers and residents,” said Kirsten Bansen Weigle, market organizer for the Maple Grove Farmers Market. “Think of the market a little more like a grocery store and less like a social gathering. This is a get-in, get your goodies and get out type of event.”
For the time being, the market has just one entrance and one exit with one-way traffic. Organizers are prepared to limit entrance to the market if it gets too busy, so new customers will be admitted as other finish their shopping. The market is noticeably smaller. There are markers on the pavement, alerting customers where they can stand to practice social distancing. Vendors cannot let customers sample, or even handle, their product before purchase. For a full list of precautions and changes, you can click here.
Why is the market allowed to open under the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order?
The Governor included farmers markets along with grocery stores as an essential source of food for the community.
Since it is April in Minnesota, the market doesn’t have a host of vegetables or fruits in the offerings. However, local vendors are offering flowers, jams, maple syrup, meats, frozen pierogi, soaps and more. Rest assured the people selling the product behind the table are the ones responsible for producing it.
“We do anticipate markets looking very different this summer,” said Bansen Weigle. “While we usually love to have the maximum number of customers visiting, lingering, trying new things–now we are encouraging focused food shopping. We’re happy to connect folks with local foods that have been minimally handled.”
The market is open on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Maple Grove Community Center.