The big tent is up for Nelson Farmers Market in Nellysford, now open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The fresh market cooperative has been providing local produce directly from the farm to community tables since 1997. Nelly the Cow and numerous vendors are onsite in the grassy fields on Rockfish Valley Highway (Route 151) at the entrance to Stoney Creek.
Pearl and Tim Marsh are the onsite managers, now in their third season. During the week both are working in fulltime professional jobs. “This is the craziest season we’ve ever had,” said Tim, adding, “It has been a positive experience for customers, based on the feedback. Most people are happy about feeling safe and supporting local farmers.”
New safety measures require social distancing of 6 feet on market grounds and one-way foot traffic in the tent by following signs that begin at the middle entrance. All customers are required to wear a mask under the tent. Vendors are required to wear masks when serving and are asked to either sanitize their hands after each transaction or wear disposable gloves.
These procedures are temporary measures to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order and remain in effect until the order is lifted.
Phase 3 of reopening will permit music to return as well as additional vendors from a 50-mile radius. Those who want to minimize their time out can pre-order for pickups by directly contacting the farm vendors. Nearly thirty vendors are available now, including Afton Mountain Elderberry, Big Arms Farm, Bryant’s Family Farm, Dickie Brothers Orchard, Farmer Brown, Gathered Threads, Ginter Family Farm, Hungry Hill Honey Farm, Hindes Family Farm, Pharsalia, Rill Cross, Riverhouse, River Oak Farm, Singing Earth Produce, Troyer’s Fruit and Produce, Verdant Farms, Miller’s Bake Shoppe, Roller’s Baker, Cozy Cabin, Deer Creek Wood Works, Ennis Mountain, Feather Stein, S&G Antiques, Houses for Bluebirds, Mountain Vision Pottery, Ocean Inspired Beadery, Slippery Hippo.
For details about vendors and pre-ordering online, visit the market’s website at nelsonfarmersmarket.com.