Updates Regarding Farmers Market Season

5/23 UPDATE:

Union Square Farmers Market in Somerville is open now every Saturday, 9-1pm.

There is a limit to how many people can be inside the market at any given time so we do expect customers will have to wait to get inside the market but we don't expect walk-ups to be turned away. The market is also considering extending market hours to accommodate for this and allowing for time slots for at-risk customers.

9-9:30 - seniors and at-risk shoppers

Brookline Farmers Market is slated to open on schedule on June 4th.

 

Please note that since the markets will be opening, we will not be doing a CSA.

 

We are also not taking pre-orders for vegetables.

Given the situation, even if you pre-order you have to wait in line just the same as those who didn't pre-order. Instead of looking for pre-orders, we think we can be more efficient by taking orders on the spot and bagging them. We're making every effort to make sure this process goes as quickly as possible so that it's just as fast as finding someone's pre-order. That's why we are updating our website and social media weekly with a list of available vegetables ahead of time so that once you come up to our stand, we can quickly process your order. We completely understand the appeal of pre-orders but please understand that they come at an enormous cost for farmers (and any small business). Come summer, we will have 50+ unique vegetables and much more volume of vegetables and it's simply unsustainable to do pre-orders for us


Please come to the market having an idea of what you would like to buy so that we can all work together to make this a quick and efficient experience!

Both markets will run with major modifications. Once we know the exact modifications/guidelines, we will share it with you here.

Here are some modifications we expect to see:

FOR CUSTOMERS

  • Customers displaying COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed to enter the market.

  • Customers must wear masks at all times. Customers without masks shall not be admitted into the market.

  • Customers shall not touch any products.

  • No reusable bags are allowed for produce or food purchases. Vendors must bag all purchases in single use paper or plastic bags. Customers may bring reusable bags in order to carry market bags home. Only customers should touch their own bags.

  • Only one customer (or customer group) shall be allowed to shop at each vendor booth at a time. We strongly encourage only one customer per household to attend the market at a given time.

  • Touchless payment (credit card payment) is encouraged. SNAP token transactions are allowed, but cash transactions are highly discouraged.

  • If a customer is paying with cash, it will be rounded up to the nearest dollar to avoid the need for coins.

  • Time spent at booths should be limited to ensure the movement of customers.

  • Live music, demonstrations, guest vendors, community groups, storytelling, and similar programming are prohibited.

  • Gathering and socializing in the market is prohibited.

  • Seating areas are prohibited except to accommodate for disabilities or health issues.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • The market will have a system for limiting the number of attendees circulating through it within a 30-minute timeframe.

  • The market will set up a queuing area at the entrance that is clearly indicated and keeps customers a minimum of 6 feet from each other.

VENDOR/MARKET PREPARATION AND SET-UP

  • All market staff, volunteers, vendors and their staff must stay home if they are sick, displaying any symptoms of potential sickness, or have come into contact with someone who is sick within the past 14 days.

  • Market and vendor staff is required to wear face coverings and disposable gloves at all times.

  • Vendors are only allowed to sell food products.

  • No consumption of samples or ready-to-eat foods is allowed. Any prepared or processed foods should be packaged ahead of the market in a certified kitchen space, purchased in a packaged form, and may not be consumed on site.

  • Only vendors are allowed to touch the product.

  • No reusable bags are allowed for produce or food purchases. Vendors must bag all purchases  in single use paper or plastic bags. Customers may bring reusable bags in order to carry market bags home. Only customers should touch their own bags.

  • Booths must have a minimum of 8 feet between them with a minimum separation of 6 feet between vendor booths and customer wait lines.

  • Vendors shall keep customers at a minimum of 6 feet away from market products. An empty table, rope, or tape line on the ground should be set up in front of product tables.

  • Vendors are required to have at least two staff people: one to handle payments and one to handle products. Staff is not allowed to shift duties without washing hands and changing gloves.

  • Clear markings at each booth must delineate space for customers to wait, purchase, and pay while maintaining a minimum of 6 feet distance between them, vendors and other customers.

  • Vendors must familiarize themselves with the proper procedure for the use of gloves and face masks.

  • Vendors are encouraged to pre-package items to reduce handling.

  • Hand sanitizer is made available at all points of sale.

  • Vendors must sanitize booth setups after any direct contact with customers, and at a minimum of every hour, including tables, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, tablets, and any other touch points.

  • The use of tablecloths is prohibited.

  • Vendors shall discontinue use of any materials and display items that cannot be easily
    sanitized.

  • CDC and OSHA health recommendations should be followed at all times.

  • The market will provide hand-washing stations (preferred) or hand-sanitizing stations to customers and vendors at the entrance and exit points.

 

We want you all to know how much we appreciate your support! Farming is an endless practice in adaptability, but all is for naught without a community to support us. Thank you all so much for your willingness to adapt with us and we hope to see all of you at the markets and/or plant sales in the coming weeks! Stay safe and vigilant, start a garden if you have the ability to, and please continue to support your local producers and businesses. We're all in this together!