For those who drive by the brightly coloured picnic tables along Niagara Stone Road by The Village, and wonder whether the popular weekly markets will return this season, co-ordinator Sharon Brinsmead-Taylor has some information to share.
Public events are on hold until June 30 at this point, and “if and when things do begin to open up, we know that the SupperMarket will not be able to run as it has in the past.”
What that means, she says, “we really are not sure. We are working on a few scenarios to attempt to salvage some type of a season, and support our vendors.”
That will depend on getting approval from the Town, and the Niagara Region public health department, she says, promising to keep the public “updated as things transpire.”
The good news, Brinsmead-Taylor says, is that she is working closely with the regional health epartment to have the Farmers’ Market open on the scheduled date of May 23. “The provincial government has deemed farmers’ markets as an essential service, but it will by no means be business as usual. The health of our customers and our vendors is our number one priority.”
There will be strict social distancing and food handling rules in effect, in accordance with the guidelines of the public health department, says Brinsmead-Taylor. “As an alternative to grocery store shopping, we will offer an open-air ‘food less touched’ option.”
Getting local food into local hands, while supporting the farming community, is more important now than ever, she says.
“This year, we will need the help of our community more than ever. Several local businesses have come forward, offering us cut-rates on their services, and donations. We truly appreciate their support. If there are any local businesses that feel they could be of assistance, please ask them to reach out directly to me.”
Also, to give people something to brighten their days, says Brinsmead-Taylor, on the weekends leading up to the opening of the Farmers’ Market (May 1, 2, 3; May 8, 9, 10; and May 15,16, and 17), Niagara Flower Growers will set up at the site with “contactless sale” of their hydrangeas and Boston ferns. They will be open those days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To reach Brinsmead-Taylor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.