Farmers Market back on after consultation with health officials

Vendors encouraging buyers to seek out local suppliers online

UPDATE:

The Duncan Farmers Market will continue!

In consultation with the City of Duncan and health officials, the market will open, albeit in a limited capacity, for those who wish to shop on Saturday.

The stalls will be farther apart, vendors will sanitize between customers and the hope is people will keep their distance when a vendor is dealing with another customer.

Many vendors are also accepting online orders of pick-up orders if you contact them directly.

The official response from the City of Duncan is as follows:

” At this time, in consultation with the Medical Health Officer and in support of local food security, the Duncan Farmers’ Market on Saturdays at City Square will continue offering farm and food products only, to a maximum of 20 vendors. This is in line with grocery stores and take-out food services. Measures will be in place to protect vendors and patrons such as distancing between vendors and no product sampling.”

Vendors taking part on March 21 include:

Wild West Mushrooms

Cedar Valley Poultry

Island Shire

Alexander’s Aqua Greens

Nielsen’s Honey

Henry & Jones

Doli Acres

Well Bred

Kloosterman’s Farm

The Drift Seafood

Yesteryear Farm

Boots n’ Roots

Saltspring Sprouts

Ed’s Soup Shack

Fat Chili Farm

Lockwood Farm

•••••

It takes a lot to keep the Duncan Farmers Market down, but the popular Saturday morning event in downtown Duncan is done until further notice.

This, according to the group’s Facebook page, is “to encourage social distancing and follow the guidelines set out by the BCCDC and Health Authority.”

SEE RELATED: CVRD recreation facilities close doors amid coronavirus precautions

Turnout at the March 14 market was already poor last weekend, and with the COVID-19 conditions changing seemingly by the hour, the market’s brass has opted to shut it down for now, though it might have been the City of Duncan who forced their hand, when the mayor and council decided to cancel all events at City facilities, including City Square, where the market is based.

“While we are closed, please support your local farmer, artisan, winery, bakery, and more,” said the official notice.

The small business community, including vendors that usually sell at the market, are rallying, however. In addition to encouraging their customers to seek out their favourite suppliers online, a Facebook page called “Small business Cowichan support during COVID-19” has been set up whereby members can collectively help each other out.

For example, Melissa Cottam of Moo’s Pizza has posted a video outlining some of the steps her company is taking to ensure safer pizza transactions.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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