Pandemic to affect farmers market

Shoppers visit the farmers market in Watertown on opening day in 2016. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN —  The Greater Watertown-North Country Farm & Craft Market also will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic when it opens for the 44th season on Wednesday May 27.

Farmers markets have been deemed essential, according to the state’s guidelines for social distancing and gathering rules caused by the coronavirus.

But market-goers and vendors alike will be required to follow social distance rules that are being put into place.

“We can have the farmers market, but we’re asking our vendors and customers to be responsible and safe,” chamber president and CEO Kylie Peck said.

Only food-related and produce vendors will be allowed to participate this year.

So far, craft vendors are not part of the state guidelines for farmers markets across the state. She hopes that they might be added later. Food trucks are in, while music and entertainment will not be this year.

While there are many changes this year, the farmers market will again be set up along a section of Washington Street and around the corner on Clinton Street.

As of now, 23 food vendors, including food trucks, can be part of the farmers market, Mrs. Peck said. The weekly event normally has 70 vendors.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come together for farmers to provide local produce,” she said.

Vendors will be drawing six-feet social distancing markers in chalk on the sidewalk in front of their booths that customers must adhere to, she said.

The booths will be 10 feet apart and all customers and vendors must wear masks or face coverings. To control the flow of traffic of market-goers, the familiar arrows found in grocery stores these days will be used.

While wineries can have booths, there are no tastings, Mrs. Peck said. The food trucks will offer only pickups and takeouts. No seating will be available.

Only small groups of one or two people can attend together.

The chamber is following coronavirus rules set by the state’s Agricultural Markets and the Farmers Markets Federation.

The 44th annual farmers market runs from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays normally into October.

Last year, the farmers market went through a rebranding with a new logo and an updated website.

Established in 1977, it’s been billed as the longest-running and largest farmers market in the north country.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(11) comments


"The chamber is following coronavirus rules set by the state's Agricultural Markets and the Farmers Markets Federation."

That's good to know but does it relieve the chamber, or any of the businesses at the Farmers' Market, from liability?

Nothing definitive has been done on the issue of COVID-specific liability. Senators McConnell and Graham are working to shield businesses and entities from liability. Unions argue that liability protections may put workers at risk and without recourse. Under the protections, customers may be put at risk and without recourse, too.

Shouldn't this matter be settled soon? As long as it's up on the air, it diminishes our confidence. As long as our confidence is diminished, economic recovery will be diminished, too.


How do we deal with the Amish? No Vaccines, outhouses, no running water, no washing hands etc.? Shun them?

Holmes -- the real one

It sounds to me like you have no experience with or knowledge of the Amish.

1) Most Amish have their children vaccinated. There are a few who do not. Those who do not have much the same thinking as those other North Country folks who believe in conspiracy theories and needlessly fear autism for those who receive vaccines.

2) If you are a male, it is statistically much more likely that you do not wash your hands after toileting -- no matter how fancy the bathroom you use. Think about it -- this may possibly include you.

3) Running water is not the issue. Proper hand washing is. Refer back to 2).


Someone forcing you to purchase from them? Evidence of any Covid among the Amish? or you just looking to discriminate...


No, no one s forcing I will not be purchasing from them. As Holmes said,, I do know my post toileting routines, and theirs is fairly obvious.

Holmes -- the real one

That last bit is simpleminded prejudice, nothing more.


We discriminate frequently and with good cause, hence, we do not swim in boiling cauldrons, choose not to slap tigers in the face, and avoid germ vectors. .

Holmes -- the real one

Thank you for making clear just how you think and behave.


Evidence? Well, last year, the Amish in NNY were the largest identifiable vector for the transmission of measles, a disease pretty much wiped out in the word of running water.

Holmes -- the real one

Cool how that's completely false.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but the risk of outbreaks owing to international importations remains. An outbreak of measles in New York City began when one unvaccinated child returned home from Israel with measles; onset of rash occurred on September 30, 2018, 9 days after the child returned home.

But hey, you've already made clear that opinions based on prejudice alone are OK by you.

Just FYI -- the majority of unvaccinated children have parents who identify as conservative, fundamentalist evangelical Christian, and who are Trump supporters. They tend to believe conspiracy theories over science and they tend to hold similar prejudices to your own.


Holmes is of the view Amish do not have measles, based on an article in the NYTs. But watch out for those Hassidic Jews. I beg to differ, The New York Times did extensive coverage of measles outbreaks for the last 5 years. Citing the CDC , May 3, 2019, Mr. Patel, found the Amish were responsible for the largest outbreaks of Measles in the USA, consistently, and for the previous few years. Say what you want about the Amish, cleanliness is not virtue they covet or embrace. . And, having traveled a bit for my work, other fundamental Judaeo Christians occupy the same smell territory. I avoid eating in any community with a high population of Hassids or Haffels. I avoid the Amish community members as if they carried the plague, because in many instances, they do! Measles is the most contagious virus I know of, it can lie hidden for a long time and I'm am fairly certain effective hand washing helps it's containment. Amish outbreaks in the hundreds do not occur because they are clean and vaccinate. Again, I choose to discriminate on my contacts, not based on a religion, but on basic viral transmission risks.

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