Farmers’ markets have been known to play an important role in the distribution and availability of food products. Given how they contribute to the livelihood of countless vendors that deal with fresh and local foods, there has been much emphasis on keeping these markets open amid the Coronavirus crisis.
There are several challenges that surround this, though. For starters, it can difficult to implement social distancing in these areas. Consumers directly engaging with vendors and local farmers may not observe the necessary precautions to curtail the spread of the virus, as well. With people already afraid to step out of their homes, the continued operation of farmers’ markets in Indianapolis has become a significant issue.
However, some of the recent measures adopted by farmers’ markets across Indianapolis present a possibility for these vendors to continue operating without exposing themselves or others to the virus. Let’s take a look at some of the latest developments in farmers’ markets in Hendricks County, Hamilton County, and Johnson County.
Precautionary Measures Undertaken By Farmers’ Markets In Indianapolis
Farmers’ markets across the state have introduced a series of measures to ensure safe operation. These include:
1. Standard COVID-19 Measures
All farmers’ markets in the state are required to adhere to standard safety measures for the control and prevention of the Coronavirus. These include maintaining a social distance of 6 feet, installing hand sanitizers, banning the consumption of food, and limiting physical contact to a bare minimum. Customers have also been requested to wear masks and gloves for their own safety, as well as the safety of others. Some markets have also installed hand washing stations.
Many farmers’ markets have also stipulated that parents must keep their children with them at all times and stop them from wandering off. Markets such as the Broad Ripple Farmers Market and the Carmel Farmers Market in Hamilton County have instructed customers to avoid touching products. In the case of the latter, a no-touch rule has been introduced which stipulates that if you touch a product, you must buy it.
2. Moving to Closed Spaces
Many farmers’ markets across Indianapolis are being encouraged to operate within closed spaces. For instance, the Brownsburg Farmers Market in Hendricks County is shifting to Town Hall Green. Vendors can send in their applications through the official site (www.brownsburg.org) in order to be part of it. The market is closed at the moment and will open in June.
Shifting to a closed space can enable better crowd control and ensure social distancing between shoppers.
3. Credit Over Cash Transactions
Multiple farmers’ markets in Indianapolis are stressing over cashless transactions to limit physical contact. Currently, the Danville Chambers of Commerce Farmers Market in Hendricks County is accepting credit cards as well as cash. All cash purchases will be rounded off to the nearest dollar to ensure faster processing of transactions.
Other farmers’ markets that have introduced such measures include the Garfield Park Farmers Market in Johnson County, Lineage Market in Hamilton County, and the Binford Farmers Market in Hamilton County.
4. Sale of Packaged Foods
To promote public safety and proper handling of food items, some farmers’ markets are only dealing with prepackaged foods. For example, authorities overseeing the Danville Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market are encouraging the sale of packaged and bundled items.
At the Binford Farmers Market, the measures are even more stringent. The market is being held at Northview Church. Vendors are only allowed to sell prepackaged food, hygiene products, and pet food.
There will be no freshly prepared food at the market and no sampling, as well. Shoppers are also banned from consuming food on-site and food trucks cannot park nearby.
5. Limited Entry to the Market
In an attempt to control the number of shoppers present at the market during a specific period, many farmers’ markets are limiting entry to only 50 individuals at a time. For most markets, there will only be one point of entry for monitoring shoppers and better crowd control.
Markets that have introduced this measure include the Brownsburg Farmers Market, the Danville Chambers of Commerce Farmers Market, the Binford Farmers Market, the Broad Ripple Farmers Market, and the Carmel Farmers Market.
At the Binford Farmers Market and the Carmel Farmers Market, the authorities have tried limiting entry to only one member of a family.
6. Pre-Orders and Pre-Payments
This is another measure that has been introduced in light of the Coronavirus crisis. Customers have been instructed to place orders prior to arriving. This can help limit the amount of time they spend outdoors. Pre-payment processes have also been encouraged. In many cases, these markets have introduced delivery services as a suitable alternative to ensure that residents do not venture out unnecessarily.
Customers can negotiate prepayment and preorders terms with individual vendors and proceed accordingly.
Which Farmers’ Markets Are Currently Operating in Indianapolis?
Provided below is a list of markets that are currently operational in the state:
- Original Farmers Market
- North Church Farmers Market
- Binford Farmers Market
- Broad Ripple Farmers Market
- Carmel Farmers Market
- Fishers Farmers Market
- Lineage Market
- Noblesville Farmers Market
- Garfield Park Farmers Market
- Brownsburg Farmers Market
- Danville Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market
- Cumberland Farmers Market
- Fairgrounds Farmers Market
- Irvington Farmers Market
Wrapping It Up
Initiating and implementing these changes is vital for the continued survival of farmers’ markets in Indianapolis. Given how the Coronavirus crisis is crippling businesses and industries around the world, it is heartening to see these initiatives and precautionary measures that can help these markets stay open to the public. Not only do they support local farmers but they also ensure the provision of food in these challenging times.