The Historic Oak Ridge FARM Market will open Saturday morning, April 11, in Jackson Square, but it will be a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release said.
The farmer’s market, which is managed by East Tennessee Farmers Association for Retail Marketing, or FARM, is marking its 43rd year of operation, the press release said. Farmers markets are designated essential services in the Tennessee.
The City of Oak Ridge is helping East Tennessee FARM in its efforts to supply fresh, local food to residents, the press release said.
Following safe shopping guidelines will mean several changes for visitors to the popular Saturday morning market, the release said:
- Customer will enter and exit at designated locations on the site.
- The number of customers on site at one time will be regulated to ensure social distance spacing.
- Spacing between vendor booths will be increased to 10 feet.
- Customers are encouraged to bring their own shopping bags.
- Customers will be served one at a time, with others waiting at least 6 feet away to avoid crowding around food displays.
- Customers are advised to indicate to vendors their selections rather than touching products.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be provided to the public.
- Healthy shopping procedures will be displayed at the market.
- Pre-order/pickup orders are encouraged.
- Customers can connect with farmers offering this service on the website www.easttnfarmmarkets.com.
- A parking lane will be designated along Broadway Avenue for curbside delivery of pre-orders.
All farm products offered at East Tennessee FARM Markets are grown and produced locally by the seller. Foods sold directly to the public from the producer are considered safer than grocery store offerings because it has been handled by fewer people, and because it is grown locally rather than shipped in from various areas of the country or from other countries, the press release said.
“Despite the crisis, Tennessee’s farmers continue to produce safe, fresh, local foods,” Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher said. “Farmers markets are an ideal source for fresh vegetables, meats, and food products and are vital to our local communities and economies.”
In addition, the open-air shopping environment of local FARM Markets allows for continual fresh air movement, and plenty of room for social distancing among patrons, the press release said.
Volunteers will be on site to answer questions and assist shoppers.
The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday.
If you have questions, you can send an email to [email protected] or call (865) 567-8250.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
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