Though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused lifestyle changes seemingly by the hour, the Franklin Farmers Market plans to keep its regular “off-season” schedule intact and will continue staying open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
It won’t be business as usual, of course.
“We have vendors spaced out, [and] each vendor is wearing gloves which we provide and a mask (if they have one),” Amy Tavalin, director of Franklin Farmers Market, said in an email. “And each booth has wipes or sanitizer on them. We are encouraging customers to stand in line 6 feet from each other.”
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture released information Saturday explaining how farms and farmers markets across the state are adapting to the crisis.
“With recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in mind,” the TDOA’s Kim Doddridge said in an email, “many farm stores are offering advance orders online or over the phone, limiting the number of customers inside the store at one time, delivery to the car or a pickup location, options to ship, and in some cases, home delivery.”
Likewise, the Franklin Farmers Market is working on making adjustments to how vendors sell to customers. Though it’s usually festive throughout most of the year when it’s opened, the market will be bare-bones while the coronavirus crisis continues.
“We are not encouraging any socialization,” Tavalin said. “We do not have live music or entertainment and are encouraging customers to come in, get the supplies they need from our vendors and return home.”
She added that the market’s website will soon have information on how customers can place pre-orders with vendors and pick those up as soon as they arrive at the market.
In early spring, customers of the Franklin Farmers Market can expect leafy greens such as lettuces, spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy, along with carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic.
Food vendors will also have baked breads, donuts, gluten-free prepared food, desserts, biscuits, pretzels, cheese spreads, crackers, cookies, muffins, soups, elderberry syrup, bone broth, canned goods including tomatoes, peppers, jams and jellies.
Farmers will have milk, cheese curds, cheddar cheese, goat cheese, goat milk, eggs, beef, lamb, chicken and pork and more.
The other farmers markets in Williamson County — Berry Farms, Brentwood, Nolensville and Thompson's Station — open in May.