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Original question:
Hi Farmers
Last year we decided to cancel our spot at the farmers market due to Covid
precautions and an oversubscribed CSA. This year we will have our booth
again, and I am wondering what modifications we should be planning given
that Covid is still a factor. The market we are part of has done a lot of
layout changes to give vendors more space, but pre-orders are not required
or particularly encouraged.

We will certainly be wearing masks and pre-bagging most (all?) of our
items. Are there other things people have found kept you safe/gained your
customers' trust/made things easier? Payment changes? Booth design changes?
Staffing changes? Even small details like where you stand in relation to
the customer or Covid-related problems you had to solve as last year's
market season unfolded would be helpful.

Responses:

*Clearly dictate how you want people to behave/shop. Do this with bold,
large signage, as well as clear communication.
Bag or bunch as much as possible to streamline options.
Offer pre-order/weekly special bags...these can be prepaid and set aside so
people don't have to wait in line to pick them up.
Use venmo, pay pal, crypto, and/or square readers to move customers out
quickly and not have to deal with cash.
Get vaccinated!

*Last year we attended our two farmers’ markets all year and made some
changes to our normal setup.  We had a 20’ stall plus a small table to the
side for the money.  Needed 4 people to run it but could do it with three
if we had to.
One person handling money, all money received went into a box and then
fresh change was given back, so we never touched money, which a lot of
people liked.
One person stocking the table behind the table.
Two people up front with two lines in, two lines out.  We had a rope 5 feet
in front of table so customers couldn’t handle produce, though it
definitely was harder for customers to get exactly what they wanted.  The
less options for sizes, colors, etc. the better.  We had exact change
 buckets at our in/out lines as well if the money line got too long.  We
wore gloves and masks though stopped gloves in October.
It was definitely a big change from our regular setup but customers really
appreciated it and loved how much we did to keep them and us safe.

*The best thing we did was have a station were we placed the bagged items.
Then we stepped away and they took there bags. We had a small bucket of
disinfectant  in  water so we could wipe down between customers.
Our pay area was on the opposite side of the booth so there was no
congestion.
  We created shelves that had examples of what we had in front so people
could see  with a sign don’t touch them.  With everything in back that you
put together for them.

 If your interested in doing something like that I am sure you can find
some cute props to make it attractive like a bunch of  comming out of a
small burlap bag for instance or comming out of a mason jar   To show of
the greens.
Hope this helps.

*Important question and we appreciate the outreach through this listserv.
The following email was recently posted on the VT Farmers Market
Association list serv and will hopefully be helpful to this group as well



The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets does not anticipate
adding additional specialized guidance for farmers markets beyond the
*universal
guidance
<https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/vermont-forward/business-operations#universal-guidance>*
that
went into place April 9th for all Sector A businesses. It will be each
market’s responsibility to develop strategies related to their own
circumstances to achieve the requirements of the universal guidance (i.e. a
way to manage capacity to ensure 6ft spacing/physical distancing; providing
access to handwashing/hand sanitizer to ensure hygiene). The Universal
Guidance serves as a baseline. Any business, organization, or operator is
free to take additional safety precautions for the health and safety of its
employees and consumers.



As of the most recent *Phased Reopening Plan
<https://www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward#gsc.tab=0>*, by July 4th, the
requirement to follow universal guidance, mask & physical distancing
requirements will all become “recommended” with no capacity restrictions
for gatherings and events. The universal guidance requirements and phased
reopening plan can change at any time, based on public health and safety
needs.



*Vermont Forward: Roadmap to Reopening
<https://www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward#gsc.tab=0>*

On April 6, 2021, Governor Phil Scott released a reopening guide to help
Vermonters and local businesses see the path for a phased return to
unrestricted travel, business operations, and event gatherings. The
transition from sector specific guidance to Universal Guidance
<https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/universal-guidance> will happen in two
phases. Group A Sectors (Low contact, short duration, outdoor and
controlled environments), includes farmers markets. Effective April 9,
2021, the following is the universal guidance that all businesses,
organizations, and operators must follow.

   1. *Stay home if sick.* Organizations must have policies in place to
   remind employees to stay home if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19
   <https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/symptoms-sickness>. No
   symptomatic or COVID-19 positive workers are allowed on site. Unvaccinated
   employees who have not had COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have had close
   contact for more than 15 minutes with any person who is diagnosed with
   COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days or for 7 days prior to
   obtaining a COVID-19 test. See the Department of Health’s guidance
   <https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-What-employers-should-do-if-their-employee-tests-positive.pdf>
for
   more information on work place exposures.
   2. *Wear a mask.* The State of Vermont currently has a mask mandate
   <https://governor.vermont.gov/sites/scott/files/documents/ADDENDUM%202%20TO%20AMENDED%20AND%20RESTATED%20EXECUTIVE%20ORDER%20NO.%2001-20.pdf>
in
   place. All employees must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth
   when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a
   translucent shield or “sneeze guard” is acceptable in lieu of a mask if the
   employee works alone and does not interact with customers outside the
   workstation. Businesses, non-profit and government entities may decline
   service to individuals who are not wearing a mask. This includes refusing
   service to those who are exempt from the mask mandate, however, the
   business shall provide an alternate way for those unable to wear a mask to
   access the business, such as offering curbside pick-up, delivery, or other
   innovative solutions.
   3. *Ensure six-foot spaces and uncrowded places.* Employees must observe
   strict social distancing of 6 feet while on the job. Businesses and
   non-profit or government entities must ensure customers observe strict
   social distancing of 6 feet while on location, to the extent
possible. Employers
   are encouraged to use their best efforts to accommodate those workers who
   may have childcare needs which cannot be met due to the closure of schools
   or childcare facilities for reasons relating to COVID-19.
   4. *Practice good hygiene.* Employees must have easy and frequent access
   to soap and water or hand sanitizer during the duration of work, and
   handwashing or hand sanitization is required frequently including before
   entering, and leaving, job sites. All common spaces (when open) and
   equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors,
   tools and equipment, and vehicles must be cleaned regularly and, when
   possible, prior to transfer from one person to another, in
accordance with CDC
   guidance
   <https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM26911>
   .
   5. *Think before you travel.* Follow the state’s travel guidance and
   educate your employees and customers about the state’s policies. Guests of
   lodging, campgrounds and other accommodations must complete a Certificate
   of Compliance
   <https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/vermont-forward/cross-state-travel#certificate-of-compliance>
   .

Any questions should continue to be sent to the Agency of Agriculture, Food
& Markets covid-response email: [log in to unmask]

-- 
Sweetland Farm

*Diversified produce and meat farm. Community Supported Agriculture.*

www.sweetlandfarmvt.com

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