2020 MFM Season Update: March 27, 2020
Greetings all, I hope all of you are staying as safe and sane as possible amid all the chaos. I know there is so much uncertainty right now, and we wanted to reach out to all of you to check-in and let you know that we're still here, and we still plan to run the Manzanita Farmers Market in some form this summer. We are going to wait another couple of weeks before firming up our plans for the upcoming 2020 Manzanita Farmers Market season. So much has changed so quickly and continues to evolve with the COVID-19 pandemic that we're holding off on committing to an approach. Meanwhile we're making contingency plans for different possible scenarios, keeping a close eye on official mandates, keeping track of best practices and innovative solutions, as well as discussing and learning from what other farmers markets are doing in Oregon and nationally. Among other things we're looking into online pre-ordering services and we have an opportunity to collaboratively select an online platform with other farmers markets around Oregon that we could implement and promote statewide. Online ordering could run alongside the physical farmers market. At our most constrained we might only offer online ordering for food and farm products. Another constrained scenario might have only food and farm vendors at a physical farmers market with their vendor booths spaced widely apart. We'll see. These decisions are so hard. We are aware many of our vendors depend on market sales. In closing, here's an anecdotal snapshot from a farmers market that is currently operating in Oregon.
Quick summary of the past two Saturdays at the PSU Farmers Market in Portland: * Shopper counts are down by nearly half of last year. That is largely due to NO TOURISTS. * Shoppers who are at the market are coming in singles instead of family groups and we've encouraged that to reduce the number of bodies in the space. * Farmers are selling out!! The people who are coming are locals, neighbors and they are buying fresh veg, meat and cheese, bakery, etc. * Food artisans and hot food vendors are struggling - vendors are just covering costs. So, in our case - the number of shoppers is not very relevant. Those who come to market are buying! Farmers are selling fresh food. That is working!! Best, Trudy Trudy Toliver, Executive Director Portland Farmers Market
Finally, feel free to reach out with question, concerns, and suggestions.
We'll keep you posted.
Take extra care, ~Emily and the MFM Board Emily Vollmer, Market Manager Manzanita Farmers Market