When the Saugerties Farmers’ Market opens for the 2020 season on May 23, marketgoers will find some changes. New York State considers farmers’ markets to be essential services, but that includes only food and plants. So the market, as in past years, will offer an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat, cheese and eggs, as well as maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies, fresh roasted coffee, baked goods, vegetable and flower seedlings, vegetarian lunch-to-go, and more.
Gone this year are music, art, café tables, craft vendors, community organizations, special events and opportunities for socializing with friends and neighbors. Nor will local officials preside over a ribbon-cutting to open the new season.
“This year, it’s all about making the market a safe and secure place to shop,” said Judith Spektor, coordinator of the Saugerties Farmers’ Market committee. “The farmers’ market is more important than ever at this time, both because people need access to fresh, healthy food and because local farmers have lost most of their restaurant sales and the community wants to help support them. So the committee put a lot of effort into designing a market layout that would protect shoppers and vendors.”
Masks and social distancing will be required and vendor stalls will be set far apart from one another. Foot traffic will follow a circular path – no more wandering from booth to booth. Parking-lot pickup will be available for high-risk customers who don’t want to leave their cars, as long as they have ordered and paid in advance.
“We’re encouraging all customers to pre-order and pre-pay, if possible,” Spektor said. “It reduces the number of people walking through the market at any one time. In addition, we’re asking people to send only one shopper per household to the market, and to leave dogs at home!”
Information about how to pre-order can be found at the market’s website, www.saugertiesfarmersmarket.com.
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through October 31, 115 Main Street, across from Cahill Elementary School.