Farmers markets are beginning to return to the Pittsburgh region and like most entities, COVID-19 has changed the way they operate. Some markets have pushed back opening dates to make time to figure out what needs to change in order to maintain social distancing and keep vendors safe.
The Downtown farmers market will open for the season Sunday, but in a new location; organizers have moved it from Market Square to 11th Street near the Convention Center. Attendees are asked to wear masks, to preorder selections online when possible and limit parties to one or two people.
Similar precautions are in place at the Bloomfield Saturday Market which opened last weekend. Market manager Abi Gildea says masks are just one requirement.
"If you're sick please don't come; one person per household; we're not allowing any dogs; we've ceased all non-essential activities," she said. Those activities include live concerts and kids play areas. Gildea is asking patrons to be patient as waiting and lines become more common.
Some regional farmers markets have delayed opening dates, but a few opened this week. Most organizers are asking patrons to follow guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and the Farmers Market Coalition.
Farmers Markets that will be operating this weekend and into the future:
- Downtown Farmers Market: Sundays
- Bloomfield Saturday Market: Saturdays
- Robinson Farmers Market: Saturdays
- Monroeville Farmers Market: Saturdays
- Ross Township Farmers Market: Wednesdays
Start dates for other farmers markets:
- Lawrenceville Farmers Market: Tuesday, June 2
- Carrick Farmers Market: Wednesday, June 3
- Swissvale Farmers Market: Saturday, June 6
- Squirrel Hill Farmers Market: Sunday, June 7
- North Side Farmers Market: Friday, June 12
- East Liberty Farmers Market: Monday, June 15
- Bellevue Farmers Market: Wednesday, July 15
The city of Pittsburgh says there will be social distancing and safe purchasing requirements in place at city-operated markets. Details of those requirements have not yet been announced.