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Farmers markets close for two weeks to adjust operations during pandemic

The Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market is hitting the pause button to gear up for operating safer and smarter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The markets are closed for two weeks, reopening April 14 in Ashland and April 16 in Medford.

“We’re doing this out of a commitment to the health, safety and wellness of our customers, vendors, staff and community,” said Daria Land, executive director.

During the short closure, market vendors are creating alternate buying opportunities for customers.

“We are posting them as they come to the community via Facebook and Instagram,” Land said. “Other farmers markets across the nation are providing this service, and we are committed to this as well.”

When the markets reopen, they will be staffed with a trained social distancing enforcement officer to help maintain 6 feet between shoppers and vendors.

“When we reopen after the short break, we’ll welcome our valued customers to shop and please go,” Land said. There will be no consumption on site.

When things get back to normal, patrons will be able to enjoy mingling, visiting and experiencing the more leisurely market experience.

“A pandemic like this highlights the importance of the Rogue Valley Growers Market food chain,” Land said. “We are fortunate to have a robust system of local food production from our farmers and makers.”

Like grocery stores, farmers markets are considered essential businesses that can remain open to sell fresh fruit, produce, meats and other items. The pause will allow the RVGCM to introduce additional health safeguards.

“The food at the markets is grown and produced by people their customers know and trust,” Land said. “Our connections with the community strengthen our resolve to act in service to the community.”

The RVGCM in Ashland is located at the National Guard Armory, 420 E. Main St., and is open on Tuesdays. The Medford market is located at Hawthorne Park, 501 E. Main St. and operates on Thursdays. Both markets will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. when they reopen in two weeks.

“While this disruption is painful and significant, it is temporary and necessary,” Land said.

For more information and frequent updates, go to rvgrowersmarket.com.

Jim Flint photoAfter a short pause to adjust operations for the pandemic, the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Markets will reopen just as the harvest of early spring produce hits its stride.