The Corvallis Farmers’ Market has been an interesting yet refreshing event to return during pandemic times. Despite increasingly intense COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and mask mandates, the farmers’ market has managed to stay active, employing innovative methods to counteract a complicated situation.
I first visited the Corvallis Farmers’ Market during COVID back in March. Then, the market was more desolate and almost apocalyptic. Now in July, the market is buzzing as it usually is during the summer months. Going to the market almost feels normal, despite the masks and consistent signs reminding patrons to socially distance, shop and go home, and leave their pets behind.
Compared to March, Farmers’ Market director Rebecca Landis reported that people have gotten better about wearing their masks while shopping.
“It has gone smoothly as customers started complying in greater numbers even before Gov. Brown explicitly addressed outdoor use,” she said.
Landis also noted that some masks are available at the market for customers to take and use.
“The Corvallis Sewing Brigade is still giving out free masks, and we also have a few face shields to give out if someone has a medical issue or disability that makes it hard to wear a cloth mask.”
Shop Local from Home
In the spring, the Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets were preparing to release a Locally Grown Online Market so customers could buy remotely rather than physically coming to the market. This function is now live on their website. Not only does it help those who don’t feel comfortable going to the market, but it also assists the market in meeting distance requirements, making it a safer place overall.
You can begin the online market process by registering on the LocallyGrown website. This will give you access to view and purchase various products available at the physical market. Currently, there is a variety of products featured for the Corvallis Farmers’ Market on the online market, including whole grain flour from Harcombe Farm, milk from Rising Sun Dairy, LLC, bread from Wild Yeast Bakery, jun – a fermented health tonic roughly similar to kombucha – from Mother Culture Jun, and more.
You can even purchase foods from featured restaurants, like frozen pupusas from Pupuseria Del Valle and frozen tamales from Sabor. Products are separated into various categories, making it easy to sift through and find what you’re looking for.
After purchasing the desired products during the ordering period between Monday at 4 p.m. and Wednesday at 11:45 p.m., patrons can pick things up on Saturday. Customers can otherwise purchase during the Wednesday ordering period, between Monday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 11:45 p.m., and then pick up on the following Wednesday.
Although SNAP customers can’t yet pay online using Oregon Trail Cards (USDA Food and Nutrition Services currently only allow using SNAP online for Walmart and Amazon), they can still pre-order on the website, then swipe their card at the market booth. The market will also use individuals’ Double Up Food Bucks match.
The Corvallis Farmers’ Market also offers a spreadsheet listing the various vendors and their delivery and pick up abilities, making remote local shopping even easier.
By Cara Nixon