The Foodshed Alliance is full steam ahead for the summer farmers markets in Chaffee County.
Newly appointed Marketing Manager Ally Jacobs is confident that the upcoming markets in Buena Vista and Salida will provide a valuable source for locally harvested and prepared food.
Salida’s market is scheduled to begin June 6th and will be held at Alpine Park from 8 am to 1 pm. The Buena Vista market will start Sunday, June seventh between 10 am to 2 pm in South Main Town Square.
Though the market times and locations are to remain the same as last year, the market guidelines and types of vendors will be notably different. Historically, both markets have encouraged a social atmosphere, promoting recitals and displays by local artists and performers. Because of the recent health concerns, both markets will only be offering essential items such as fruits and veggies, meat and eggs, canned goods, baked items, and ready to eat treats. Other necessities that will also be featured are herbal treatments, body and skin care, and pet food. Working strictly under the guidelines put forth by Chaffee County Public Health, Colorado Department of Public Health and The Colorado Farmers’ Market Association, the Foodshed Alliance at this time will be prohibiting onsite consumption of food and will encourage visitors to depart as soon as their purchases have been completed.
Market layout will also be adjusted for health and safety. All booths will be spaced at least ten feet apart to accommodate social distancing between vendors and customers. There will be visual cues to assist in keeping with this practice, as well as touch-free hand washing stations available to visitors and vendors. For this season, all product sampling will also be suspended and vendors, in addition to normal food safety practices, will be the only ones to handle and bag items.
Both markets this year will continue to offer the Double Up Food Bucks program, which allows those using EBT cards though the SNAP program to double the dollar amount they are able to spend on fruits and vegetables. Contact-less purchasing will also be available to patrons.
Despite the loss of Weathervane Farms when the owners decided to close, there will be several fruit and vegetable vendors at both markets. The Foodshed Alliance has partnered with new farms located in Chaffee County. Ms. Jacobs is “thankful for the opportunity to serve our community” and to continue to help provide a venue for locals to purchase fresh foods from local sources.
For more information to contact the Foodshed Alliance, visit foodshedalliance.com.