One of summer’s pleasures for many people involves visiting the area’s gorgeous farmers markets. Perusing open-air stalls brimming with farm-fresh produce, meats and other products, along with creative handmade items like soaps, candles and textiles, provides a feast for the senses and an important way to help support businesses here.
This year, because of COVID-19 concerns, several farmers markets look a bit different – including Kirkwood Farmers Market.
“Despite our necessary changes, we’ve been doing pretty well, and people are still coming out to shop,” says Kori Thompson, its market master. The Kirkwood operation runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Visitors will notice fencing surrounding the market, one of the more visible changes that allow market staff to control the amount of pedestrian traffic there. Tables and chairs, which usually give visitors a place to sit and enjoy live music, are absent. Special events, such as the annual peach festival and market tasting events, are canceled. “If things change, we may be able to offer some additional events later on, but that all depends on how things go with the numbers of COVID-19 cases and community spread,” Thompson says.
Based on the size of the fenced area, Thompson says the market has a capacity of 81 visitors at a time. Vendors and visitors are required to wear masks and encouraged to maintain a distance from one another of at least 6 feet. Hand sanitizer is provided at the market entrance and at locations throughout the market area.
“Most people understand and are fine with the current requirements,” Thompson says. “A few have questioned the need for a mask in an open-air market, but we explain that it’s a temporary measure to help ensure the health and safety of our visitors and our vendors.”
Other local farmers markets are following suit, adjusting their practices to help ensure a safe shopping experience. “Despite the restrictions, people are coming out to buy fresh produce, and many feel safer shopping outdoors right now,” Thompson says.
Kirkwood Farmers Market, 150 E. Argonne Dr., Kirkwood, 314-822-0084, downtownkirkwood.com/farmers-market
Other Area Farmers Markets to Note:
- The Tower Grove Farmers’ Market (4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis) runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays in the roundabout at the center of the park, and The Boulevard Farmers’ Market in Richmond Heights’ shopping district runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays. Visitors are asked to wear masks, maintain social distancing and refrain from handling produce and other items prior to purchase. tgfarmersmarket.com
- The Soulard Farmers Market (730 Carroll St., St. Louis) runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, and from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. 314-289-5300, soulardmarket.com
- Creve Coeur Farmers Market (934 E. Rue de la Banque, Creve Coeur) runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Shoppers are asked to wear masks, conform to one-way foot traffic, maintain social distancing and refrain from touching items before purchase. A limited number of shoppers is allowed into the market at one time. 314-629-2765, creve-coeur.org/750/Farmers-Market
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