Farmers' Markets Adapt to COVID-19 Regulations and Cold Weather

ST. JOHNSBURY - As the COVID-19 pandemic ever so slowly shows signs of improvement across Vermont, Governor Scott has started to loosen restrictions in some aspects for business. On May 1st the governor allowed Farmers Markets to open under strict protocols such as requiring markets to designate a health and safety officer to ensure compliance with all health and safety requirements. Just some of the restrictions include producing products that will be prepared for "take away" and off site consumption of food and drinks, no congregations, and a strong discouragement of in-person shopping, but rather pick-up with a vehicle.

 If in-person shopping must take place, than social distancing measures are to be implemented and a "touchless" payment option should be encouraged. For a full list of COVID-19 restrictions regarding Farmers' Markets, visit We spoke with the co-manager of the St. Johnsbury Farmers Market Elizabeth Everts who told us that their market will open on May 23rd, and that their first hour from 9am to 10am will be for customers 60+ years old and/or with high risk only.

Everts stated "We will be following the Governors guidelines to the letter" and that "All shoppers should be prepared to wear a mask". In addition to COVID-19 restrictions, markets across Vermont had to deal with a rather tough spring season weather wise, below average temperatures into the month of May including persistent frost/freeze conditions at night did not help the cause. "Growing has been very difficult" Everts mentioned and also added "There may not be a great deal of vegetables" but assured the market is trying their best and that a variety of products will still be available. Aside from vegetables, Everts also mentioned that due mostly to the pandemic, meat products have been in high demand, therefore "meat products might also be limited". Between the virus and the cold weather, customers are encourages to support small businesses that include farmers' markets across the Northeast Kingdom and Vermont as a whole.

As projections continue to show improvement heading into June, so does the longer range weather pattern with warmer times ahead as above average temperature are favored during the last weeks of May and into June, according to the Climate Prediction Center.