The Farmers' Market at Poplar Grove Plantation kicks off its 13th season today, May 20, with 50 area vendors set up across the sprawling front lawn of the plantation’s manor house.
Suzette Cooper–Hawley, director of events and market manager for Poplar Grove, said the market is fortunate to have the majority of its past vendors returning, despite the changes that have had to be made in response to COVID-19.
“This really is the best lineup we’ve ever had,” Suzette Cooper–Hawley said. “We have several new nurseries, farmers and artists, and all kinds of foods from produce to eggs and cheese, meat, poultry, salsa, honey, and loads of baked goods.”
The fact that the plantation, at 10200 U.S. 17 North, has enough space for the vendors to spread out has helped the market to comply with social distancing recommendations, Cooper-Hawley said.
The market will have a designated entrance and exit and there will be hand-sanitizing stations throughout.
Additionally, all vendors are required to wear masks and are asked to sanitize their hands following each transaction. Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks as well as carry their own hand sanitizer if possible.
Cooper-Hawley said there will be plenty of staff and volunteers on-site today to help with the flow of shoppers and to answer questions.
“All of our vendors have been moving through process really well,” Cooper-Hawley said. “It hasn’t been too difficult to set up the logistics, but after this first week we will assess everything to see how we need to shift.”
The plantation’s barnyard area, which is normally open during market hours, must remained closed during the state's phase one of reopening, as must the restrooms. Vendors are also unable to provide any samples at this time.
“We’re fortunate to have a very professional group of vendors and there’s no doubt that they will pull it off as they always do,” Cooper-Hawley said.
The Farmer’s Market at Poplar Grove is open each Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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