For the next few months, the public will have the opportunity to enjoy the produce and products of local farmers, gardeners, artisans and cooks through the Redwood Falls Farmers Market.
According to Stacey Heiling, who helps coordinate the seasonal event, the local farmers market is “an important function of our community and has always had great community support. We are proud to be able to offer locally grown and sourced food products to our customers. This year, while some things are different, the goal of bringing fresh and healthy foods to our community remains the same.”
Yes, there are some things that have been adapted to meet the concerns of COVID-19.
In working with Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) and guidance from MDH, those involved with the farmers market knew they would be able to operate the market safely and in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, Heiling added.
There are a total of 12 vendors participating in the market.
However, Heiling indicated, not all vendors come to the market on every day dependent on their product availability and seasonality.
Those interested in becoming a vendor can contact Heiling at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Each vendor is required to comply with local, state and federal regulations that apply to their products. The cost to be a vendor is $25 for the season.
The season runs from July through the beginning of October.
Shoppers are being asked to limit the number of people per household who are coming to the market, follow social distancing recommendations and wear a mask (this is recommended but not required). A hand sanitizing station will be available, and volunteers will be on hand to help with traffic flow and social distancing reminders.
Each vendor may also be implementing extra precautions at their individual stands.
The market is held Tuesdays from 2-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.
The market will go on in the event of light rain, but it will close early or may be cancelled in the event of severe weather or any severe weather threats.
Vendors are offering everything from fresh produce, locally grown beef and pork, canned goods including pickles, jams and jellies, honey, baked goods, dried herbs and craft items.
Product availability depends on the season, so the markets early in July will have more early season crops, while things like tomatoes and melons usually peak a little later in the summer.
“This year we are excited to have the addition of two vendors selling fresh eggs and we will also have the addition of a new vendor selling fresh cut flowers at the Saturday markets,” Heiling added.
According to Heiling, “we are proud to be able to offer locally grown and sourced food products to our customers. This year, while some things are different, the goal of bringing fresh and healthy foods to our community remains the same. There were a few changes we had to make, including the decision to not have the Power of Produce Club events this year to allow for less people gathered at the market, but we are working with Carris Health and other local entities to provide some ‘COVID friendly’ promotions throughout the season to promote wellness and healthy eating habits.”
Carris Health is also providing volunteers to guide customer traffic through the market and assist them with finding what they are looking for to expedite shopping.