Based on new state guidelines, crafters will be allowed at farmers' markets in Vermont. Crafters will return to the Waitsfield Farmers' Market on June 6.
When the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market opens May 16 it will be a very different experience than in years past.
Market manager Lotty Roozekrans said the market’s board of directors met on April 28 to sort out how to comply with state guidelines.
Here is how it will work. There will be one entrance and exit at the north end of the field, near the spot where Hadley Gaylord is located. The rest of the market will be roped off. The first half hour of the market, from 9 to 9:30 a.m., is designated for the elderly and immunocompromised.
Current thinking is that 30 to 40 people will be allowed in at a time, but that could change, Roozekrans said. The only vendors that will initially be allowed are agricultural vendors plus those selling value-added agriculture, such as cheese makers, and prepared foods vendors as long as the food is prepped at home or on site to go in containers to be eaten off site. Vendors will be able to sell seedlings and other agricultural products such as blueberry bushes.
There will be no picnic tables and no entertainment, no nonprofit table, no trash, recycling or compost because people are encouraged to treat the market as a food shopping destination versus a destination for socializing. There will be one handicap accessible port-o-let and a hand-washing station along with hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit.
Vendors will be spaced 12 feet apart. Vendors will be wearing masks and gloves and shoppers are encouraged to wear masks, Roozekrans said.
“What we’d like to see is people coming to the market to pick up an order for which they have prepaid the vendor. And we’d like one person per family to come, which will allow more customers,” she added.
Currently people can access vendors to order through the farmers’ market website, www.waitsfieldfarmersmarket.com.
Roozekrans said that the lack of fees from the market’s crafters, artisans and makers would have significant impact on the market’s finances. She said that as the season progresses the state may allow more types of vendors and activities at local markets. Crafters, artisans and makers represent about 40 to 50 percent of the market’s vendors.