The farmers market is in the same place but open under a new name: The Old Church Farmers Market. Most of the vendors from the previous Hillsborough Farmers Market are selling their wares at The Old Church Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm.
Our reopening was in question given the ongoing pandemic. Some vendors felt unable to join us due to health concerns. Without a big push from our vegetable, bakery, meat and food vendors, we would not have opened at all, but somehow we did it while other markets remained closed. We have just enough of our regular customers along with new customers from other markets to keep us feeling hopeful.
Speaking ‘Covidly,’ you will notice fewer tables inside and direction arrows on the floor. The flow-through walking plan involves entering beside Oliver’s German Bakery and exiting through the old church library.
There is a lot of room. We decided to remove the interior seating for now. To keep the air flowing through, we are keeping the doors open and the fans on. There is hand sanitizer at the entry and exit. Vendors have masks on or nearby. The tables are wide enough to keep enough distance between the customers and vendors by the vendors simply standing back a bit. The bakery allows one customer at a time. The bathrooms are cleaned throughout the event. We keep up to date on best practices and, like you, we’re adjusting as we go.
All very nice, you might say, but what’s new?
We are building market tables out of reprocessed ‘church wood’ donated by Oliver. Five have been made so far. As best we can, we want to reprocess pews and try to stay with the theme of the historic church that hosts us. The stage has been fore-shortened with a new pine wall. The space behind is given over to a flour mill grinding local grain for your bread. (I think they call that ‘food security.’) The Community Table is going all out to host local products in hopes of spawning new vendors. The market will forgo its part of the Community Table fee to support local enterprise. (I think they call that ‘economic development.’) Over in Jim’s corner (ohh, dare we look?), he seems to have started a market house band around a weird handpan drum with whoever blunders by, whether they have a musical instrument or not. Looks to be giving handpan lessons if you want to try it. (I think they call that ‘if you don’t know how to play, we will learn you up.’)
Drop in for a hot cup of Buddha Bear Coffee and peruse the wares of our local vendors. Maybe you are in need of some meat for your BBQ this weekend, jam and a fresh loaf of bread, a gift for a special someone, maple syrup, or even a tub of Sussex Ice Cream to enjoy at the picnic table. Try your hand at Jim’s steel tongue drum. There’s bound to be something to spark your interest.
We have new health and safety precautions in place; please adhere to them during your visit. We are excited to see familiar and new faces in the coming months. Come out, shop local, minimize your food miles, and don’t forget your reusable shopping bags.
See you at the market!