After a fairly smooth opening day, the Farmington Farmers Market will celebrate the Memorial Day weekend by adding some color to the Saturday event.
Market Master Walt Gajewski said the May 16 market was “a real coming together” despite the challenges of implementing mandated social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of maintaining the public trust and the public welfare.
In post-market conversations, vendors said they appreciated the volunteers who helped manage lines, and volunteers said they felt safe. Visitors wore masks, observed social distancing without incident, and said they appreciated having volunteer guides.
“Everyone worked hand-in-glove,” Gajewski said. “It really kind of felt like we were ringing the bell for Farmington coming back as a community.”
The local market’s opening approach, with 14 vendors offering only fresh produce and prepackaged foods, was conservative and focused on serving Farmington and Farmington Hills. This week, Gajewski said, a number of changes will open things up a bit – starting with a Farmington “Mini Flower Day”.
“We’ve lifted restrictions on bedding plants and flowers,” Gajewski said. “The atmosphere is going to turn much brighter and more colorful… We feel we owe that to the Farmington community. People inherently feel safer in their own backyard.”
Market-goers can also bring their own reusable bags, and families can now shop together. Gajewski said shoppers will see a few more vendors as well. The market won’t be close to its size during a typical season.
“The smaller markets are less conducive to gathering. It’s faster to get through. We’re also accounting for space requirements from vendor to vendor, vendor to customer, and customer to customer,” he explained.
Other restrictions remain in place during the May 23 market, which will be open from 9 a.m until 2 p.m. Shoppers must wear masks and cannot touch produce before buying it. No dogs or other pets are allowed. Access is limited to one entrance and two exits. Everyone is encouraged to use the four hand-washing stations.
For more information and to pre-order, visit farmingtonfarmersmarket.com. Please note that the market website is a work in progress and will be updated with new information and new vendors during the week.
Here’s a look at Opening Day: