Vendors still spaced out, flower vendors moved to Warehouse 23 lot
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Farmers Market had, as expected, larger crowds and longer lines this past Mother’s Day weekend.
After opening the previous weekend to low turnout due to rain, Executive Director Jordan Boldt said he expected much higher numbers with the better weather of Mother’s Day. He was right.
“It’s still a farmers market that people can come shop at,” Boldt said. “We’ve been working really closely with both local and state health departments and sort of the regional markets, trying to determine what is the best way to do this. Obviously, this is modeled for everybody, we spend a lot of time preparing for that.”
Due to COVID-19, vendors on Saturday continued to be spaced by a minimum of 10 feet, and were required to wear masks and gloves when interacting with customers. Many vendors are also wrapping their booths with clear plastic as another layer of protection.
“In terms of the challenges, it’s actually not that hard dealing with social distancing,” said Volehalla Farms owner Heath Pearson. “As long as you got gloves on, it’s pretty easy to work with the asparagus. So it has not been that big a burden for us.”
Pearson and his son Blake ran the farm’s stand at the market this past weekend, selling the spring crop of asparagus in the thousands. The farm is located in Ridgefield, and has been a part of the market for several years.
With the current market under restrictions created by the Vancouver City Council, flower vendors, which make up a large piece of the market on Mother’s Day, were not allowed to sell in the market perimeters.
In an effort to remain open, many flower vendors set up in the parking lot adjacent to Warehouse 23, farther away from the main market on Esther Street.
“If people follow us online, either our website but definitely social media, we post weekly, like who’s coming, what the vendors are gonna be,” Boldt said. “We’re really working to even refine that more so that we have a lot of data for folks so they can determine, before they even walk in the door or the farmers market like, ‘These are the products I want to buy.’”
Many vendors are doing pre orders or exclusively pre orders to reduce the amount of time needed during the purchasing process. For more information visit www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com.