Both the Moscow and Pullman farmers markets adapted their practices to comply with COVID-19 regulations.
Despite the changes, many customers and vendors have responded positively, said Amanda Argona, Moscow community events manager.
Moscow Farmers Market
Local growers are selling products directly to customers through Moscow’s “motor-in” market, Argona said.
“We’ve gotten a few [people] who … weren’t sure how they were going to be able to purchase fresh, in-season produce from some of the vendors they’ve shopped from for years,” Argona said. “So they were excited that this option was available.”
The online store opens 9 a.m. Tuesday and remains open until 9 a.m. Thursday. During this time, customers may purchase produce online directly from local farms, Argona said.
Farmers then have until Saturday to harvest, she said. Customers pick up their orders in the Moscow City Hall parking lot at 206 E. Third St. The pick-up area is contactless.
The regular downtown market will open with modifications on June 6, Argona said, but the motor-in market will still be available for customers who wish to purchase fresh food online.
Argona said the number of vendors in the downtown market will be limited when it opens and no more than 50 customers will be allowed into the market area at a time. The market will also offer an at-risk shopping hour from 8-9:30 a.m.
All vendors are expected to wear masks, chalk markings will remind customers to maintain six feet of social distancing, and there will be hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations available, Argona said.
“Patience, grace and understanding go a really long way,” she said. “We’re working really hard to make sure these small businesses are supported during this time and we hope folks are understanding of any changes.”
Pullman Farmers Market
The Pullman Farmers Market is open from 3:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the WSU Brelsford Visitor Center.
Margaret Parsley, farmer and co-owner of Omache Farm, said she was pleasantly surprised by the number of customers who came to the first market.
Parsley said organizers are taking precautions, such as sanitizing, separating people with six feet of distance or a physical barrier, and providing hand-washing and hand-sanitizer stations around the market. Vendors also are making sure to only let customers touch produce they are purchasing.
“[Customers] want their local food and they are dedicated to that,” Parsley said. “Everybody’s been transitioning well.”