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Nov. 30, 2020 | Monday
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Saturday farmers' market hopes to open May 23
Rose Bartel sells flowers at the Market in 2019. (File photo)

The Saturday farmers' market in Niagara-on-the-Lake hopes to open May 23 and work is under way behind the scenes to keep it on schedule. 

Market co-ordinator Sharon Brinsmead-Taylor is working with Niagara Region Publc Health to ensure the market can open. 

Farmers' markets have been deemed an essential service by the provincial government, but operating during the COVID-19 pandemic brings some unique challenges. 

“The health of our customers and our vendors is our number one priority,” Brinsmead-Taylor said. 

“There will be strict social distancing and food handling rules in effect in accordance with the guidelines that Niagara Region Public Health has given us.” 

The alternative to grocery store shopping offers “an open-air, food-less-touched option to the people of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” she said. 

“We feel very strongly about the importance of promoting and maintaining a local food system. Getting local food into local hands while supporting our farming community is more important now than ever.” 

The Market @ The Village is unsure what will happen with the Wednesday night SupperMarket, usually hosted at the same location, and this has presented a news set of problems for the farmers' market. 

“The costs that we incur to run the weekly seasonal market are not covered by the reasonable rates that we charge our farmers,” Brinsmead-Taylor said. 

“This year we need the help of our community more than ever.” 

She said several local businesses have come forward offering donations, such as LTD Distillery, which will provide hand sanitizer. If there are any local businesses that feel they could be of assistance they can reach out to Brinsmead-Taylor directly at notl.market@gmail.com

This article has been updated. It was originally reported that Niagara Flower Growers would be setting up for contactless sale of hydrangeas and Boston ferns on weekends leading up to the farmers' market opening. In fact, Niagara Flower Growers is not able to sell from the market site as the service is deemed non-essential. Flowers are available at the greenhouse at 1167 Line 6 , 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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