The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced the opening of the Burlington County Farmers Market on May 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Burlington County Agricultural Center, 500 Centerton Road, Moorestown.
Residents are invited to purchase locally-grown fresh produce and pre-packaged prepared foods every Saturday through October.
“While we know that our customers have enjoyed spending time at the market to socialize with friends and our vendors, we made changes this year to keep everyone safe due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson said in a prepared statement. “At this time, our focus is on the core mission of the farmers market: to give local farmers the opportunity to sell their produce and provide our residents access to fresh, locally grown produce.”
For the foreseeable future, the farm market will focus on selling fresh vegetables and fruit, and pre-packaged prepared food. There will be no musical entertainment and no cooking demonstrations at the market. Only vendors selling agricultural products and prepared food products will be permitted to participate at the start of the season. Agricultural products include fruit, vegetables, plants, cut flowers, dairy products, farm-raised meat, seafood and eggs. This also includes selling items such as jams, jellies, salsa, honey, soaps, herbal oils, etc. made from the agricultural products listed above, according to the statement.
To protect the safety of customers, vendors and staff, the following guidelines have been adopted and will remain in place until such time that county health officials determine that it is safe to resume normal operations:
• All customers and vendors must wear face masks or face cover as required by Gov. Phil Murphy in Executive Order 122. The facial covering should be a mask, or an alternative facial covering, such as a bandana, handkerchief, etc. This must cover both the nose and mouth.
• Customers are encouraged to come to shop and leave. Please limit the number of family members making the trip to the market.
• The number of customers permitted to shop on the market grounds will be limited to 75 at any one time.
• There will be a single point of entry and a single point of exit.
• Foot traffic will be one-way and directed by arrows clearly marking the direction that must be followed.
• Be conscious of other customers. It may not be possible to maintain a 6-foot distance while waiting to buy from certain vendors, but don’t crowd others.
• Restroom facilities will not be available.
• No dogs will be permitted on-site.
• Do not come to the market if you are feeling ill.
• No tastings or product samples.
Some vendors will be offering pre-orders and pre-payments weekly. Contact vendors directly to see if they are doing pre-orders. A list of vendors and their contact information, along with payment methods is attached.
“We hope everyone will take advantage of the farmers market and continue to keep supporting our local businesses and farmers. Shoppers should still be mindful of the current public health crisis by wearing masks and practicing social distancing while visiting the market. It is our hope that in the future the markets will return to normal, but for now we must all work together to stay healthy,” Hopson said in the statement.
For a complete description of the Operational Protocol during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, visit www.burlcoagcenter.com