The Farmers' Markets in Thornbury and Flesherton are currently waiting for the green light from public health before they can commit to an opening day weekend.
“We would like our customers to be patient,” said Ron Barnett, market manager for both the Thornbury and Flesherton farmers’ markets. “Public Health is trying to do what’s best for us. The COVID-19 third wave has come at a most inconvenient time for us, but it is what it is.”
Both markets are hosted on municipal property and both municipalities require public health approval before allowing the markets to operate.
According to Barnett, plans for both markets were sent to the Grey Bruce Health Unit last Wednesday and organizers are now waiting for final approval before going ahead with the season.
“The plans were for full-shop markets with COVID-19 safety protocols, which include mandatory mask-wearing for vendors and encouraged mask-wearing for customers with free masks available to all,” he said.
Similar to last year, the markets will also operate with a one-way traffic flow, which leads customers around the market with social distancing measures in effect.
Barnett explained that there will also be greeters screening for symptoms at the entrance to the markets.
“We want to open as early as possible. In the meantime, Flesherton Farmers’ Market will hold weekly curbside plant sales at Leela’s Villa Inn each Saturday until we can open the market again,” Barnett said.
Once in operation, Barnett expects both markets to offer a full roster of food and non-food items.
“Both markets have had a lot of interest from vendors and each should be bigger and better markets over last year with more selection, more locally-grown produce, new vendors,” he said.
Each market is currently expected to host 24 vendors. However, Barnett noted that both markets are always open and looking for new vendors - especially primary or grower/producer vendors.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca