Farmer’s Market in a Mask

As things have slowly started opening, it has been so interesting to see how businesses and events are attempting to navigate social distancing, masks, capacity limits, etc. Today, we went to the first Puyallup Farmer’s Market of the season and it was such an interesting experience compared to the usual farmer’s market experience.

If you’ve been to a farmer’s market before, you would know that one of the best parts is the opportunity to linger, look, fantasize about, and then move on to the next stall–at least that’s how I like to do farmer’s markets. With social distancing however, the farmer’s market experience was condensed and made to be about efficiency.

There was a huge line leading to the entrance of the farmer’s market. They had roped off the parking lot and all access to the stalls except for the entrance. There was one direction traffic and once you passed a stall, you were meant to move on (though I don’t know how strictly it was enforced). One of the rules posted even mentioned keeping conversations with favorite sellers to a minimum. While we waited in line, a few workers came through to make sure everyone understood the rules and to suggest to those waiting in line to keep 6 feet apart.

Though the line took about 30 minutes to wait through, I think that having a limited number of people actually shopping in the stalls made for a better experience. Instead of waiting in long lines in front of a stall, pushing through crowds, and losing your friends, the space required for social distancing made for a much more relaxing shopping experience as a whole. I barely even missed the lingering and longing because we were able to get in and out with exactly what we wanted in no time at all.

I found a bouquet with these glorious orange poppies, peonies, and calla lilies on the side. I also bought Sara a lone peony. Jen bought a beautiful custom bouquet with deep red peonies and calla lilies. Jen also got some fresh mozzarella and I bought some homemade salmon treats for Clover (which she refuses to eat). For Chase, I bought a nice big juicy honey crisp apple. We all got some goodies!

Even though the farmer’s market experience was totally different, some of the changes weren’t necessarily bad. It has been interesting to see how COVID-19 has exposed certain weaknesses in the way we have come to do things in public spaces throughout our society. I see pictures of privacy barriers at restaurants and I think, “maybe we should keep those even after all this is over.” Maybe a heightened awareness and respect for other’s personal space is a good thing. It will be even more interesting to see how things change once the threat of COVID-19 has passed. Will we keep some of our changes or will things go back to the way things were? Who knows?

Until then, I’ll do my best to wash my hands and wear my mask to the farmer’s market.

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