From The Vestal Farmers Market:
The Vestal Farmers Market, which has been an essential grocery outlet for many community members over the years, began its 39 season in May, amidst the covid-19 pandemic. Recently, a person who had visited the market on Saturday, June 27th had been identified as having coronavirus.
“We’re fortunate that the market instituted the NY State Ag & Markets farmers market safety guidelines from the very beginning of the season,” says Lisa Bloodnick, Market Manager and Farmer at Bloodnick Farms. “All vendors and customers have been required to wear masks, maintain 6 feet of social distancing, and use hand sanitizer on a frequent basis. Because of this, and the fact that our market is outdoors, the Broome County Health Department has deemed this a fairly low-risk environment.” The market will continue to operate as usual, with covid-19 safety procedures in place, on Saturdays and Wednesday from 9 am to 1 pm in front of the Vestal Public Library.
This past March, New York State deemed Farmers Markets essential businesses, as they provide community members with easy access to fresh and nutrient-dense foods. “Now that we’re entering the height of the season our farmers will have even more amazing meats and produce to choose from,” Bloodnick says. “This past spring, when grocery stores were out of product, local farmers still had a steady supply. In order to maintain this supply in case the national supply chain falters again, we need local customers to continue to support small farms in our area throughout the season.”
Continuing to support your local farmers market during this pandemic not only means a more resilient local food supply, but often means more fresh and flavorful foods for the consumer. The fruits and vegetables that customers can purchase at market have traveled far fewer miles than those on the grocery store shelves. “We harvest most of the produce that you see on our market table the morning of or the evening before
market day. You’d be hard pressed to find something comparable in a store or roadside stand.” says Bill Morse, Farmer at Bottomland Farm. “Not only is the flavor noticeably better, but the quality hasn’t diminished like grocery store produce which has been bounced around in transport and then stored for days or weeks.”
“We’re lucky that this market can provide a safer and lower-risk alternative to shopping in an indoor grocery store,” Bloodnick says, “without a market like this, access to all of this amazing food– straight from the farmer– would be hard to come by.”
For more information about the Vestal Farmers Market please visit http://www.facebook.com/VestalFarmersMarket