Farmers’ markets cautiously open – help them by observing safety guidelines

North Coast Growers’ Association

ARCATA – California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have published guidelines for the operation of Certified Farmers Markets during the COVID-19 outbreak, naming farmers’ markets as essential food service businesses during this time of need. 

The North Coast Growers’ Association (NCGA) will continue operations of Humboldt County Farmers Markets following the strict guidelines established by CDFA and CDPH.  As the community responds to the current health crisis, maintaining a locally sourced supply of nutritious food is of critical importance.

Open markets operating and upcoming market openings:

• Arcata Plaza – Open. Saturdays 9 a.m, to 2 p.m.

• Miranda – Open. Mondays 2 to 6 p.m.

• Shelter Cove –  Open. Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Garberville - Open. Fridays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Old Town Eureka, Henderson Center Eureka, Fortuna, McKinleyville and WIllow Creek are all scheduled to open in June.  Full market schedules and up to date information can be found on the NCGA’s website at northcoastgrowersassociation.org.

The farmers of the North Coast Growers’ Association are working hard to continue to bring community members the safest, most nutrient dense food possible. Not only is the food that vendors bring to the farmers’ market much less handled than anything found at the grocery store, but farmers have also been developing their own additional purchase and pick-up options to further reduce contact, including setting up online stores, taking pre-orders, offering delivery or curbside pickup, and more. The NCGA Member Directory of Alternative Sales Outlets can be found on the website and is updated regularly.

While many vendors are currently selling out of product at the market or through other outlets, as the season progresses and crops ripen many farmers are anticipating that more produce will become available than is feasible to distribute at market while following social distancing guidelines. To that end, NCGA staff are working to develop a multi-farm CSA-style box program where customers can preorder produce boxes and drive-through to pick them up at the market info booth.  NCGA is hoping to launch this program in June once production picks up and more produce becomes available.

While farmers’ markets are open, NCGA is asking everyone to help keep the market safe, especially as we enter the busier part of the season.

All customers are required to wear masks per Humboldt County requirements. Additionally, customers are asked to follow these guidelines:

• Stay home if sick

• Customers age 65-plus or in a another risk group should have someone shop for them whenever possible

• Practice good cough and hand hygiene. Hand washing stations are provided. 

• Keep 6 feet distance from others.

• Make a shopping list and complete shopping as quickly as possible

• Customers are not allowed to handle produce/ products before buying. Allow the vendor to bag purchases.

• Take prepared food to-go to comply with social distancing protocol and do not eat on site

This is not a social hour. Limit interactions with other customers and vendors. When possible please only have one person per household at market to make social distancing easier for others.

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