Edmonton farmers markets adapt to COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions

Farmers markets in Edmonton are practicing physical distancing measures as the outdoor market season begins.

No sampling, limited activities and no dogs rules in place at some farmers markets

The 124th Street Grand Market opened on Thursday, with physical distancing requirements in place. (Raffy Boudjikanian/ CBC)

As many businesses across the province begin to reopen, so do farmers markets in the Edmonton area.

Many of the public markets have COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions in place to keep vendors and customers safe.

If you're looking to snag some produce or baked goods at your favourite market, here's some of the restrictions in place at some of Edmonton's farmers markets. 

Old Strathcona Farmers Market

Operators of the Old Strathcona Farmers Market are asking customers to abide by several pandemic procedures like:

  • Shop one person per household
  • Shop with a list 
  • Limit your time to 15 minutes to allow more people to come through the market
  • Consider shopping for friends and family
  • If you bring reusable bags, please ensure they are clean. Also, please bag your own groceries and avoid setting your bags on the vendors' tables.

"Every little thing we do can go a long way to helping our market stay healthy during this crisis," writes Donna Lohstraeter, CEO of the market.

Visit their website for full details. 

124th Street Grand Market

The 124th Street market on both Thursdays and Sundays will have new procedures in place for both customers and vendors throughout the market season.

"There's a delicate part to play in managing traffic and managing crowds so we just want to make sure we're doing that safely and as responsibly as possible," Kirsta Franke, market founder and director, told CBC's Radio Active.

For those looking to vist the market, customers should note the following:

  • Plan ahead to visit their favourite vendors
  • Limited programming will be available on site only during market hours
  • Their Little Beans program is being transferred online for this summer
  • Only 50 shoppers will be allowed access to the market at any given time
  • Reusable bags are welcomed, but make sure they're clean
  • At this time, no dogs allowed at the market
  • Customers are being asked to "shop with purpose" 

For full details on the restrictions at the market, visit their website.

Southwest Edmonton Farmers Market

The farmers market in Terwillegar has also made some changes for their season. 

  • A limit of 50 people at a time can access the market, "as per Alberta Health Services (AHS) decision for our market," according to their website
  • Customers must lineup along Leger Road, on the east side 
  • Bright, orange dots have been painted on the sidewalk every six feet to provide guidance on social distancing. 
  • A staff member will be doing traffic control at the entrance of the parking lot. 
  • Market staff are asking people to shop alone
  • There will be no parking at their location in Lot D to allow proper spacing for vendors

For full details on restrictions at the market, head to their website.

Many of Edmonton's farmers markets will have physical distancing restrictions in place until necessary. (Raffy Boudjikanian/ CBC)

Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market

Some changes are coming to Edmonton's downtown Saturday market. The market will open with a smaller vendor presence that because of COVID-19 concerns, according to their website.

The market is also not allowing dogs on site for now.

The indoor section remains open, but physical distancing measures have been introduced, says Dieter Kuhlmann, board chair of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market and owner of Kuhlmann's.

"What can Albertans look forward to these days? There's no hockey, a lot of the things you like to do aren't there. But you can come to the market, buy some good food and we are also telling people to shop with a purpose," he told Radio Active earlier this week. 

For full details on restrictions at the market, head to their website.

Bountiful Farmers Market

The market is open regular hours every weekend with additional safety precautions in place, according to their website. 

The safety precautions are:

  • Limitations on capacity within the market
  • Enhanced cleaning schedule with additional care for high-touch areas
  • Vendors will not be offering samples
  • Events are postponed
  • Seating area is closed
  • Restaurant take-out orders only or through various delivery apps
  • Children's play place is closed and all games and activities postponed

For more information, visit their website

South Common Farmers Market

According to a Facebook post on the market's page, the market will open on May 29.

The market's officials are working with AHS inspectors to "ensure everyone's safety," reads the post.

For more details as they become available, visit their website.

Callingwood Farmers Market

The west Edmonton market has postponed their opening until June 7 because of COVID-19.

According to their website, they will be "following guidelines set forth by public health authorities on physical distancing and maintaining a maximum customer capacity at all times."

For details as they become available, visit their website