National Farmer’s Market Week

The first full week of August is National Farmer’s Market Week. If you have one in your area it is a good idea to shop there. The produce is locally produced, fresh, often organic and pesticide free. You are helping to support your local economy instead of big agribusiness and you reduce your carbon footprint by bringing things in locally instead of across the country or from around the world.

New York City has many neighborhood farmer’s markets and I decided to visit our largest and most famous – the Union Square Greenmarket – to see how they are adapting to these new times.

They have many new rules and procedures including many hand sanitizing stations throughout the market. Everyone was wearing masks, except for one fellow who was being hustled away as I arrived. The aisles are wider because they moved trucks off the plaza and have utilized some side streets to spread out a bit.

They have laid out traffic control devices, including taped off lanes, marks on the walkways to enforce social distancing while shopping and other adaptations. It was fun to watch New Yorkers shame interlopers at the stalls – “line starts back there fella” in what used to be an open scrum in past years.

From what I could judge the variety was just as broad and the attendance pretty close to normal, just more spread out and safer. Someday we’ll get back to normal crowded markets, just not right away. I must say, the neighborhood around it has been devastated with many shuttered businesses, so we have a while to get back to normal. Come visit if you can.

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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