Major changes coming to Leavenworth Community Farmers Market

Get the Food to the People, Safely!

Submitted by Lorrie Tatum

In late March, the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market (LCFM) Board of Directors faced a difficult decision: re-organize a beloved farmers market to implement extreme limitations and community health precautions, or find a new way to deliver an essential service to the more than 2,000 residents of a small tourist town while supporting more than fifteen local farms. For guidance, they turned to the people they function to serve: residents and farmers.

Via online surveys, the Board gathered hundreds of perspectives on how comfortable the public would be with attending the Market, how many people would still require no-contact shopping due to increased vulnerability, and how critical the weekly market is to local farmers.

The results were varied, as you would expect in a diverse, small town, but they showed a clear sense of direction. When combined with evidence that outdoor spaces provide a significantly reduced risk of transmission for coronavirus than indoors, they had their answer: the community needs the option to shop for healthy, nutritious food outdoors and it is more important now than ever for us to support local farms.

It was decided that the Market will open as scheduled starting Thursday, June 4, with one simple mission: get the food to the people, safely.

This goal has guided every decision the organization has made, and has led to several major changes, most notably that the Market will be relocated to the Alpine Lakes Elementary School parking lot, thanks to the Cascade School District’s ample generosity.

Moving the Market away from the highway and into a parking lot in the neighborhoods will allow for increased social distancing measures and lend priority to local customers and their needs.

Another major change is that both customers and vendors will be required to wear masks within the market. LCFM currently has a limited supply of disposable masks to hand out if shoppers do not have one. But hopes to recruit a vendor that makes and sells masks. For now they are asking those who can to please bring their own. 

The Market will also provide alternative shopping options by establishing a Vendor Directory on their website where customers can find details of how to purchase directly from farmers outside of Market day or through curbside pickup at the Market.

Finally, in their COVID19 Statement on their website, LCFM asks customers to “Please be prepared to attend with respect for your community’s health needs.” You can find details about the many other precautions the Market is taking, their full statement, the new Vendor Directory, and information on how to volunteer or donate at leavenworthfarmersmarket.org.

Markets are Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Alpine Lakes Elementary School parking lot, starting June 4.

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