ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Rochester Farmers Market is making accommodations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still being able to support local farmers and customers.
As soon as you walk through the door, you're asked to wash your hands before shopping around. There's hand sanitizer and gloves on hand for anyone to use if you do decide to go to the farmers market. Mike Schmitt is the president of The Friends of the Farmers Market. He explained more precautions they have in place, "keep space away from everybody else, you know, six feet is kinda what we're asking everybody to do. Besides that just be thoughtful for the people that are around you and just make sure that you're here to get what you need, get it and then go back home again because that's what we've been asked to do."
However, if you don't want to leave your home, you still have a chance to support the local vendors at the market. "We actually have an online ordering system that is closed on Wednesday, but will re-open again Sunday," said Schmitt. "They can go online and many of our vendors have their stuff directly online." There's a pick-up system right outside the building where customers don't even have to get out of their vehicle.
Selling produce at the market is the livelihood for local farmers Dean and Jayne Bredlau. "It's crucial that all these vendors are here and it's impressive that all these vendors are here," said Jayne of The Greensted. "Not only to support the community and keep the economy more stable while we're all trying to figure the rest of this out, but it's just crucial that everybody support the small business and that we be here for them. We're credible and we're here for our communities." As for the extra precautions on their end, Dean explained it's not too out of the norm for them. "You know the glove wearing, the hand washing, to be very safe and to provide a very safe and healthy product for our local communities," Dean said. "So this is nothing new for us and for the local farmers here."
The Rochester Farmers Market will be open as long as it can providing a little bit of normalcy for everyone involved. However, as things continue to change, the farmers market will be making accommodations along the way. You can view their website to stay up to date.