PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Under temporary tents set up socially distanced farmers from across the region converged on Market Square for the weekly Farmers Market.
The market has taken on new meaning and importance in this time of COVID.
Even the way the Farmers Market is set up challenges the traditional atmosphere of farmers and customers coming together over fresh summer produce.
Linda Haston from Jose Quiroz Farm says they have to mask up and glove up from the beginning.
“We set up our perimeter just so people coming up and not knowing they can’t touch anything we also have signs and sanitization in case they touch something,” she said. “If they touch it they buy it.”
It may be a hassle but its vitally important to the farmers who need to get to their buyers one way or another.
Victor Tores of Simmons Farm in McMurray says Farmers Markets are a lifeline.
“Right now I think that people are scared to come to close to each other,” Tores said. “Before this market was real busy but now you can see it’s not too many people coming just a little bit and it’s bad for us you know.”
Tores says they have a small market at the farm but, “They come to the market but they only come a little bit also you know.”
At local farms like Trax and Soergels, the customers are still coming but like Woolf Farms it’s just not the same.
“Instead of bringing the family out and being a family event, we’re seeing a single parent come out and buy and shop and support us,” Dale Woolf said. “They are buying in larger quantities because they are avoiding the big box stores.”
Many of the farmers have gotten creative to move their produce.
Online ordering, special deals and drive up pickup have become common.
They are doing it to survive in a climate where you have a perishable product and you have to move it before you lose it.