Warm weather has arrived, and despite the upheavals caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Cortez Farmers Market will go on.
The market opened Saturday morning and will run through Oct. 31. It will look different, though, organizers say – more of a local food supplier or an “open-air grocery market” as opposed to a community gathering place.
The market will still be located at Elm and Main streets, but with two specific, designated entrances: one on Elm Street and the other at the southeast corner of the market from the parking lot.
Because organizers hope to discourage social gatherings, at least at the beginning of the season there won’t be any music, library storytelling or community booth.
Hand-washing stations and curbside pickup will be available. Customers can call or email vendors in advance (preferably by Thursday), and pick up their orders between 8 and 10 a.m. in a designated space in the county building’s parking lot.
The market will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
“Us die-hards are still going to be out there, rain and wind, selling our local products to shoppers that want to come out,” she said.
Vendors, staff and volunteers will wear face masks, and customers are asked to wear face coverings too. Patrons are also asked to minimize the use of cash, stay 6 feet away from others and let vendors handle all purchases.
Sutton said the first products being sold include cool weather crops such as rhubarb, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, broccoli, peas, bok choy, arugula, radishes, sprouts and herbs, along with pasture-raised meats, farm-raised eggs, baked goods, spices, vinegars, seedlings and local-roasted coffee and homemade breakfast burritos.
Craft vendors also will set up, but initially will be kept to a minimum, Sutton said.