The Beatrice Farmers Market is scheduled to open next week, on May 21, and vendors have received restrictions from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to keep the community safe as they prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic to potentially continue through the summer.
New and returning vendors participated in an online pre-season meeting Tuesday night to introduce themselves and discuss these restrictions. They include, but are not limited to, changing gloves often, having vendors handle all the items until it’s been purchased, not allowing people to sample items, wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Mahlory Vice, a food inspector for the Department of Agriculture, said it would also be beneficial to have extra sanitization stations set up in the market.
Michael Sothan, director of Main Street Beatrice, said signs will be placed around the market, as well, to remind the community of the restrictions.
The market started in downtown Beatrice in roughly 1997, and is currently located in the Country Cookin’ Café parking lot at 801 Court Street.
Sothan said roughly 30 vendors participated last season, selling items like snow cones, popcorn, eggs, produce, fruit, meat, crafts, art and baked goods.
The market is scheduled for every Thursday from 4-6:30 p.m., with the last market scheduled for October 8.
“It’s just a great resource for the community,” Sothan said.
The Nebraska Regional Food Systems Initiative has provided food safety resources during COVID-19 at foodsystems.unl.edu/covid-19
Buy Local Nebraska has created a food mini-guide for some of the Beatrice and area vendors participating at the market, which can be found at buylocalnebraska.org/BFBLN/PDFs/Beatrice-2020-MiniGuide.pdf
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