Minnesota Farmers’ Markets Can Open During Pandemic
UNDATED -- It won't be long before farmers' markets start popping up around Minnesota. Under one of Governor Tim Walz' executive orders, farmers' markets are allowed to open and operate provided social distancing and sanitizing plans can be followed.
Kathy Zeman is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Farmers' Market Association. She says they anticipate 90% of the state's farmers' markets to open this spring.
Zeman says they've been holding weekly conference calls with their members to strategize on social distancing best practices and sanitizing. But, she says the markets will have a different feel to them. Zeman says things like spreading tables and booths farther apart, masks, handwashing stations and other ways to keep vendors and customers safe will be in place.
Zeman says they've been able to get a jump start on what works and what doesn't work thanks to about 10 winter farmers markets in the state who've had to practice social distancing since mid-March.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is reimbursing eligible markets up to $350 for things like handwashing stations and other equipment to comply with the recommendations.
The St. Cloud Area Farmers Market will be delayed by one week from May 1st to May 9th, to make sure they have all of the necessary equipment and preparations ready.