Great news, farmer's markets, and farm stands remain open for business!

Fresh food is always the best food and when you can buy it locally it's an extra added bonus. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Governor Lamont's office would like you to know that currently farm markets and farm stands are NOT affected by the Executive Order to shut down.

There are some farm stands already implementing online and order-ahead options along with home delivery and curbside pickup much like many of Connecticut's restaurants have put into effect. To find an updated listing of farm markets and stands, click on ctgrown.gov.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is constantly reminding market managers to wash their hands, disinfect counters and surfaces while still practicing social distancing.

If you're a grower and would like to get involved in helping out your local community, just click on foodshare.org and ctfoodbank.org.

Farmers' markets and on-farm markets are encouraged to follow the
COVID-19 guidance for farm and distribution preparedness, in addition to the
following recommendations developed for farmers' markets.
1. Prepare market and individual stands
• Consider delivery or pick up options
• Consider pre-packaging bags of fruits, vegetables, other items to limit
shoppers’ handling of food and to keep customers moving along.
• Consider alternate locations that could allow drive through or pick up.
• Consider putting up signs and information on websites and social media to
explain any changes, delivery options, or extra precautions taken to limit
exposure to COVID-19. Ex: Instruct customers not to handle food.
Package cheese and eggs for customers, even if the cheese and eggs are
individually packaged. Open egg cartons for customers to see the eggs
they are getting instead of having them handle multiple cartons.
• Separate stands if possible, to limit crowds – try to separate stands at
least six feet apart. Possibly consider limiting the number of customers
within your market at one time in the case of “panic shopping”.
• If possible, have a different person handle products and handle money or
wash hands or sanitize in between these tasks.
• Remove tablecloths and sanitize tables regularly.
• Eliminate samples.
• Eliminate eating areas and gently direct customers to take prepared foods
home to avoid crowds.
2. Prepare workforce
• Provide guidance for handwashing (liked time intervals) and handling
materials.
• Stagger lunch times or provide additional space to increase distancing of
employees.
• All sick employees need to stay at home.
• Inform employees where they can find sanitizing materials throughout onfarm contact points.
• Encourage employees to practice social distancing and avoid large
gatherings to avoid risks for potential exposure during off hours.
• Encourage employees not to handle customers’ reusable bags and let
customers pack their own bags.
3. Sanitize contact surfaces.
• Frequently disinfect all door handles and knobs, credit card machines,
shopping baskets, etc. at a regular pre-established time intervals.
• Frequently sanitize common gathering places – restrooms, etc.