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What Farmers Markets Will Look Like This Summer

Due to COVID-19, your weekly trip to the farmers market might look a little different this summer. Here's what to expect.

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COVID-19 business signageStefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography/Getty Images

Social distancing in line

Just like at the grocery store, farmers markets will be encouraging social distancing of six feet between customers while waiting in line for produce. Expect to see marks on the ground with chalk, tape, or stickers to show where you should stand. If you’d rather go to the grocery store, this one just ranked #1 for COVID-19 safety measures.

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Farmers Market Social DistancingThomas Young/Getty Images

Limits on shoppers

Most farmers market vendors will have a limit on how many people can peruse their stall at the same time. Be prepared to wait a little longer than usual to browse your favorite products. Luckily, fresh fruits and vegetables are worth the extra effort!

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Woman shopping in the farmer's market during COVID-19 crisis.BakiBG/Getty Images

No touching

Touching produce to test for firmness and freshness is part of the farmers market experience. But unfortunately, your local farmers market might have a new “no touching by customers” rule in place. To avoid spreading the virus, only vendors can touch their own products; your choices will be bagged and handed to you. Here’s how to avoid germs when grocery shopping.

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Daily Life In Los Angeles Amid Coronavirus OutbreakSarah Morris/Getty Images

Required face covering

According to the CDC, wearing a face covering to stop the spread of COVID-19 is a good practice no matter where you live. But depending on your state, you might actually be required to wear a face covering while in public, including at the farmers market.

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Farmer's market selling fresh, home-grown fruit, cutting samples for shoppers to try.Tom Ang/Getty Images

No sampling

If touching the fruits and vegetables is not permitted, sampling will be off-limits as well. For the time being, most farmers markets are suspending sampling of their products; you’ll have your first taste test at home. Here’s the answer to the question, “should you be disinfecting your groceries?”

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Group of hipster friends in their 20s and 30s enjoy lunch at an outdoor food cart. They are smiling, talking, and enjoying their to-go food at the picnic table.FatCamera/Getty Images

No on-site dining

Farmers markets are usually filled with food trucks and other on-site dining for a quick bite to eat during your day of shopping. Although some eateries might still be open, expect changes. Tables and chairs will most likely be eliminated, and prepared foods will be in covered containers, ready for takeout.

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Selective focus color image depicting a caucasian woman in her 30s wearing a protective surgical face mask during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. The woman is pushing shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables in her local market. Room for copy space.coldsnowstorm/Getty Images

Limiting use of cash


The CDC recommends retailers use touchless payment whenever possible—which means your farmers market will probably be minimizing the use of cash at their stalls. Vendors will ask you to pay with a debit or credit card, inserted into a mobile payment device. This is what could happen if you don’t wash your produce.

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COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia. Young woman working at home in isolation, in an Australian setting. Sunny afternoon, working in an isolated environment with her Laptop and iPhone.VMJones/Getty Images

Hand washing stations

Expect to see more hand washing stations or hand sanitizing stations at the farmers market this summer. A hand washing station might be a simple set-up of a five-gallon spigot cooler, along with soap and paper towels. Both vendors and customers should be cleaning their hands regularly.

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People browse through stalls at the San Ramon Farmer's Market, a California Certified Farmer's Market, San Ramon, California, June 6, 2020. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Wider market aisles


Farmers markets will be adjusting their layouts this summer to encourage social distancing. You might see more space between tents, arrows, or signage to direct customers in one direction, and clearly marked entrances and exits. Avoiding bottlenecks and clusters of shoppers will be a big priority.

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African American woman wearing a protective mask while buying groceries at the marketblackCAT/Getty Images

Quicker shopping trips


As much as we love a leisurely stroll at the farmers market, it’s not a good practice right now. Farmers markets will be encouraging quick and efficient shopping tips. There won’t be a lot of lingering, and some vendors are even offering preorder options so you can get in and out as fast as possible. Now, read about what libraries (and bookstores) will look like when they reopen.

For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.

Originally Published on Taste of Home