Farmers Market opens for 2020
Despite facing struggles with extra spring rain, cooler temperatures and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Hartselle Farmers Market will remain open every day throughout the week. The market first opened last week and will continue to gain speed as more produce comes in season.
Tom Chappell, Hartselle Parks and Recreation director, has been overseeing the market since last year. He said the department worked with local farmers to make some changes to include being open throughout the week and pushing for a market day that will bring out the most buyers and sellers.
“Last year we ended the season with Saturdays. Each Saturday kind of grew, and people could count on more buyers and sellers being there,” Chappell explained. “We hope to pick up where we left off and build on the Saturdays” – with the addition of fresh coffee, flowers and craft vendors among the department’s plans.
The market is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, but Chappell said most of the farmers sell out earlier in the morning.
Chappell said the market is taking extra precautions to help decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19. In the open-air pavilion, farmers have more space to spread out and more space for customers to maintain CDC distancing guidelines. Chappell said the bathrooms are being cleaned every day, and farmers have been advised to limit people touching and picking up the produce.
“Other than spacing them out and making sure we are doing extra cleaning, we will monitor the crowds. We usually have steady business but not overflowing with people,” Chappell said. “I think we can meet the CDC guidelines. In addition to the extra cleaning, we will be monitoring and adjusting as needed.”
Chappell said social media has become a crucial tool the market is using to attract more people. He said he has been working with Erin Elledge, a volunteer, to share posts with information about when sellers are at the market and what’s available. The market’s social media pages can be found by searching for Hartselle Farmers Market on Facebook and Instagram.
The Farmers Market is located at 208 Sparkman St. SW, downtown Hartselle.