BERLIN – The town will welcome the return of the Berlin Farmers Market the first week of May.
As closures and cancellations related to COVID-19 continue to pile up, Berlin officials are pleased that at least one local event will go on. Farmers markets have been permitted to remain open as essential businesses during the ongoing health crisis.
“It’s now more important than ever to show your support for our local farmers,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.
The Berlin Farmers Market kicks off its 2020 season May 3 and will take place every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Pitts Street. The first 30 minutes of the market, from 8:30-9 a.m., are designated for senior shoppers only.
Vendors at Berlin’s producers-only market will include Baywater Farms, The Bay Mushrooms, Cross Farm, Goat Plum Tree Farm, Masterpiece Flower Farm, Splendid Earth Acres Farm, Sconer, Del Vecchio’s Bakery, Cherry Walk Gardens & Preserves, Gilbert’s Provisions, Baked Dessert Café, Una Bella Salute, Lyon Rum and Home Canning Classics.
“They’re very much looking forward to it,” Wells said, adding that many were eager to sell their wares since they were no longer supplying restaurants during the pandemic. “They need this.”
Because COVID-19 remains a concern, the market will feature fewer vendors than last year and will abide by social distancing regulations. Vendors will be at least 12 feet apart and handwashing stations will be set up. Vendors and shoppers will be required to wear face masks.
Wells added that she’d be using social media to share the market layout as well as vendor and product information in advance of each week’s market. She hopes shoppers will use that to make a list of what they want to purchase before they go so visits will remain brief and crowds won’t be a problem.
Though the Berlin Farmers Market typically features live music and children’s crafts, those aspects of the event have been canceled until further notice.
“We have put those on hold until this is over,” Wells said.
While coronavirus remains a concern, Wells said a trip to the market was a chance for residents to get some fresh air and their fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s for people to ride their bike or walk down and buy from their local farmers,” she said. “The philosophy of the market is still the same.”