By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
Efforts to slow the Coronavirus spread prompted us to cancel last week’s Saratoga Farmers’ Market. We are optimistic the market will take place this Saturday at the Wilton Mall and will post any updates on our Facebook page and other social media.
We value our shoppers, farmers, and the communities we serve. Your health is important to us. Current health guidelines indicate that foods available at producer-only farmers markets such as ours are likely to be safer than goods obtained from groceries or delivery services because the distance that the food travels is shorter and the number of persons handling it is less.
Purchases at our market also support local businesses.
We are working with mall management to expand the market’s space. If weather permits, more vendors may set up outdoors. We also are encouraging vendors to keep hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes at their tables and to wear gloves or use some other means of keeping their hands out of direct contact with raw foods. All prepared foods will be prepackaged, and we have put the offers of samples on hold.
Here’s how you can help us keep our market healthy, too:
● Wash their hands if you eat just before shopping.
● Try not to congregate too tightly around vendor tables.
● Allow our vendors to hand produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, and other food items to you. Try not to touch baskets of carrots, bags of lettuce, cabbage heads or other such items yourself.
● Be patient, as vendors clean their hands in between handling produce and money. Some vendors might have different people delegated to taking care of these tasks.
● If you are not feeling well, do not enter the market directly. Contact our vendors in advance, or the market manager. We can arrange for a curbside pickup, and in some cases, a delivery.
Last week, Pleasant Valley Farm drew on its extensive mailing list to survey customers and based on the nearly 70 responses, set up a drop point for preorders as well as a home delivery service. As Pleasant Valley’s Robert Arnold said, the goal “is to provide fresh, healthy produce to all of our faithful customers in the region any way we can.” We look forward to seeing you soon.