Columbiana farmer taking necessary precautions to prepare for farmers market season


Due to COVID-19 spreading during the off-season, farmers have already made some adjustments

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Farmers market season is right around the corner, and just like a lot of other businesses, things will be a tad bit different this year.

“So we’re doing things like handwashing on a regular basis, wearing masks, sanitizing our shopping carts, sanitizing anything like door handles, similar like everyone else is doing,” said Craig Mercer, owner of Catalpa Grove Farm.

Due to COVID-19 spreading during the off-season, farmers had to make adjustments, especially at farms where you can pick your own produce on the field.

“Previous years, a lot of time, families will come out to pick and one of the things being recommended by the Department of Agriculture is limiting to adults only so you don’t have children running around in the field,” Mercer said.

Mercer said this year they will be monitoring customers a lot closer than they have in the past.

One challenge he said they may face is reduced foot traffic.

“I think one of the big things here is we usually get some big crowds here, especially on Friday and Saturday. We’re going to have to, at some extent, limit the people in the market,” Mercer said.

And since those changes will be made, Mercer said they are moving toward the idea of doing curbside pick-up, where they will bring the produce to your car.

“I think there’s concern but at the same time, I think there is some hopeful optimism that maybe things will work out better than we anticipate. So that’s the thing, we’re trying to stay hopeful,” Mercer said.

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