The West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market will return for its seventeenth year this Saturday, May 16.
Market manager Chris Cirkus said that in order to ensure the safety of the community, farmers, and vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic, strict protocols will be followed to limit the number of shoppers. There will be a new market entrance, accessible from Alexander Road just two-tenths of a mile east of the intersection of Alexander Road and Vaughn Drive.
“This new entrance allows us to limit the number of cars in the lot at any point during the day, giving shoppers plenty of physical space, while enjoying the benefit of an open-air marketplace,” Cirkus sai.
Shoppers will be directed to the parking area and pedestrian entrance into the market space by market organizers. The old Vaughn Drive entrance will be closed. Bicycle parking remains at the old Vaughn Drive entrance.
Farmers and vendors will keep products out of reach, and many items for sale will be pre-bagged. Handwashing stations will be located throughout the lanes of the market, and face masks will be required for entry.
The market management is asking that shoppers limit their visit to 15-20 minutes to allow ample time for all shoppers, and ask that only one to two persons per household attend. Young children should remain at home if possible. Accommodations for seniors include moving them to the front of any line in order to speed up their time at the market. The market management recommends that other people offer to shop for any elderly neighbor or family member.
No onsite consumption of food will be allowed at the market, but food trucks will be packing orders to-go for enjoyment outside the market.
Shoppers are encouraged to “greet and go” if they run into friends and neighbors at the market. Gatherings are not permitted.
Reusable grocery bags should be freshly laundered in warm water before bringing them to market. West Windsor Farmers Market Bucks (wooden nickels) will be temporarily discontinued. Consumers are encouraged to use credit cards, the Venmo app, and cash for exact change on hand.
Physical distancing will be enforced throughout the market with specific areas for queuing and walking.
While the market may look a little different to start the season, Cirkus said the same fresh, high-quality, nutrient-dense local produce and products that area residents have grown to know and love will still be available. Several farms and vendors will be joining the market as the season continues.
The market accepts SNAP EBT food stamps and provides up to an additional $20 towards fruits and vegetables to customers using their benefits at the market.
“We are fortunate to have such long-standing relationships with so many wonderfully dedicated farmers and artisan food makers,” Cirkus said. “Continuing to bring that food to the greater community is of utmost importance right now, lessening burdens on grocers, and increasing access to local agriculture.”
Market hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine. Consumers should visit westwindsorfarmersmarket.org for pre-order options and additional information, or call 609-933-4452.