On May 6th, some Howard County Farmers’ Markets opened as either drive-thru or pick-up-only spaces to comply with social distancing guidelines. More of the region’s markets will open in the following few days. There willbe a few more rules that will shape the experience of both sellers and shoppers in the foreseeable future.
First is a restriction on the variety of goods to be available for purchase. Only vendors selling food products such as meat & baked goods as well as fruit & vegetables have so far received the green light to bring their products to the markets. Their booths will be 12 feet apart and each seller must also wear a mask and gloves. Similarly, buyers will have to stay six feet away from each other while waiting in line to pick up their orders. There is also a strong recommendation that they wear a face covering or mask at all times in the process.
Despite the restrictions, the producers expect a strong business activity, and officials are calling on residents not to disappoint them. “I encourage residents to visit one of our farmer’s markets to find farm-fresh food and products,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.
Columbia Markets to Open May 10th & 14th
Below are the addresses of two Columbia farmers’ markets that are readying to kick off this year’s season and how & when they will operate.
- Howard County Library – East Columbia Branch: Open on Thursdays between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. May 14th through November 4th as drive-thru-only at 600 Cradlerock Way.
- Oakland Mills Village Center: Open on Sundays between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. May 10th and November 8th as pick-up-only at 851 Robert Oliver Place.
Howard County Economic Development Authority will issue updates on the markets’ schedules, where necessary.
Maryland Tiptoeing Towards Reopening
“Nothing matters to me more than getting our economy back on track, but we want to make sure we do so in a safe way,” he said at a May 3rd interview.
Some 27,000 Marylanders have contracted the novel coronavirus. Among them, more than 1,200 died. In Howard County, the number of infections topped 1,000 including 23 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, as of May 5th.