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farmers market

Farmers Markets Thriving Since Pandemic as Shoppers and Venders Form Unbreakable Ritual

in Uncategorized 264 views

The number of farmers markets in the US is increasing—as are the numbers of customers and the number of states choosing to celebrate them with an official ‘Farmers Market Week’.

The cheeriest place to buy your groceries not only survived the pandemic, they are thriving—despite lockdown policies in many states labeling them as “non-essential”, forcing a shut-down, while indoor supermarkets were kept open.

Thirty years ago, there were fewer than 2,000 open farmers markets in the U.S. Today, there are more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory, per the Farmers Market Coalition.

This nonprofit advocacy organization fought on behalf of farmers during the pandemic, presenting a spirited defense using scientific and common sense arguments to keep them going when state or local governments wanted to shut them down.

In lockdown-heavy cities like Chicago, the Green City Market on Saturdays has grown from 5,000-10,000 shoppers pre-pandemic to 8,000-15,000 today.

Part of the reason, Green City Market’s organizer Taylor Choy tells the AP, is that supply chain issues which during COVID-19 increased the prices at supermarkets didn’t affect farmers markets that instead rely on local producers.

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Farmers market food trucks under new fire code scrutiny

in Uncategorized 441 views

WATERTOWN — Douglas LaMont was surprised when a city code enforcement officer showed up on the first day of the Watertown farmers market two weeks ago to conduct a safety inspection of his food truck.

He and his wife, Rhonda B., have never had to go through a city code enforcement inspection before for their food truck in all the years they’ve come to the Greater Watertown-North Country Farm & Craft Market.

He didn’t know why the code enforcement official showed up out of the blue and didn’t understand why they had to have one, although the inspection focused on fire safety.

At first, Mr. LaMont thought it was a scam and kicked the enforcement officer out of the food truck.

“He was causing a safety concern,” Mr. LaMont said. “He came when we were real busy. He could trip and fall and cause a fire.”

Kayla S. Perry, president of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, said she didn’t know about the safety inspections of food trucks until she received an email from code enforcement two weeks before the farmers market opened on May 25.

The chamber hosts the Wednesday farmers market, which runs through Oct. 5.

It was the first time that food trucks have had to be inspected at the farmers market, she said, adding that she forwarded the email to the food truck vendors.

But not all municipalities are doing the inspections, she said.

Mr. LaMont said he never saw the email until he found it in his junk mail folder.

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Weather cooperates for last Watertown farmers market of season

in Food/Local Business 385 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – A sun-kissed day put the bow on the Watertown Farm and Craft Market.

Patrons packed Washington Street one last time this year, picking through produce or maybe just grabbing some coffee.

The market is hosted by the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce

Its president, Kylie Peck, says there were around 50 vendors this year and thousands of people stopped by.

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Watertown farmers market vendor misses ‘tater queen’ as season ends

in Local Business/People 390 views

WATERTOWN — Scott A. Smith says it just wasn’t the same without the tater queen working with him at Wednesday’s farmers market.

His longtime friend and general manager, Ashley R. Crofoot, died a few weeks ago of complications from a novel coronavirus variant.

For the past two months, Mr. Smith, owner of Scotty’s Hotdogs, also missed the weekly Wednesday farmers market along Washington Street while he recuperated from COVID-19.

On Wednesday, he made his return to the Greater Watertown-North Country Farm & Craft Market in its second-to-last week of the season. And he missed working alongside Ms. Crofoot, who would have turned 37 last week, at his stand in front of the Dulles State Office Building.

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