By Sayde Walker, Tillamook Farmers Market Manager
Let’s share some good news: The Tillamook Farmers Market is returning in 2020, with a new opening date of June 13. Per Gov. Brown’s Executive Order, farmers markets are still allowed to operate.
Why? Because they offer communities the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-grown foods that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise and support farmers who are making a living by feeding their communities.
However, it won’t be the Market that you’ve come to expect from us the last two years. And that’s OK. We are all making adaptation to normal life, and the Market will be no different. Here is what you can expect to find at the Market this year:
– Many of your favorite vendors selling produce, plant starts, craft, baked goods, hand-made soaps and lotions, flowers and more. They will just be spaced out more to allow each vendor enough space to keep them safe.
– New signs welcoming you to the Market and reminding you to utilize the hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, maintain social distancing with other customers and vendors, and only touch what you’re going to buy.
– SNAP customers will still be able to spend those dollars on food, and receive a match for fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and nuts via the Double Up Food Bucks program.
You won’t find live music, kids games and activities, or tables and chairs to hang out with friends at. This isn’t the time to be hanging out, lingering, or meeting up with friends. We all want to be there again someday (maybe even before the season end) but in order to do that we have to make some sacrifices now in the interim.
My hope is that the community will continue to come out and support these farmers and small business owners who rely on the Market to help sustain their businesses. We know traditionally our Market attracts a lot of out-of-town visitors who won’t be able to patronize our vendors this year, so we need our local community to be intentional about buying their produce, berries, bread, and other goodies from our vendors. Now is the time to shop small and shop local as often as possible to ensure that all of our businesses – including farmers market vendors – make it to the other side of this pandemic. It is these small businesses that make our community vibrant, fun, and full of soul and losing them would be devastating. So many of them give back to the community in abundance year after year and now it’s our turn to give back to them.
So shop small, shop local, and come June shop the Tillamook Farmers Market.
If you’re interested in being a vendor this year, you can find a link to the application at tillamookchamber.org. Our season opens June 13, and we are still accepting new vendors up until the season starts. You can also help support the Market and its vendors by becoming a sponsor. For sponsorship details, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.