Shop, don’t stop! Safe market shopping during COVID-19
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month since our Winter Markets have been operating as essential services during the COVID-19 crisis. We miss the hustle and bustle of regular market life, but are grateful that our work with municipal and provincial officials has allowed us to stay open to serve the community and support our producers.
As we continue to implement measures to ensure everyone’s safety and keep our markets open, VFM staffers have compiled a list of things we ask every shopper to follow:
1. Practice social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures. A full list of recommendations can be found on the Vancouver Coastal Health website.
2. Shop, don’t stop. It’s tempting to stop for a chat when you see your friends or fave vendor at the market. Unfortunately, this is not the moment to do so. We ask that you stay focused on your shopping when at the market so that we can reduce crowding and wait times for everyone.
3. Send only one household member to the market whenever possible. We’re still seeing a lot of people coming out to the markets in groups and want to remind everyone that we’re functioning as an essential service, not a social gathering. Please follow the BC Ministry of Health’s grocery shopping guidelines and send only one household member on errands to reduce the number of potential exposures.
4. Seniors can shop safe. A 30 minute shopping window is reserved at Riley Park between 10am-10:30am for seniors (65+), shoppers with mobility challenges, and others most vulnerable to COVID-19. Access at the entrance to Zone 1 (far south end of the market off the gravel parking lot) between 10am-10:30am.
5. Order ahead. You can now order and pre-pay for your market shop with over 50 VFM vendors through VFM Online Orders. While this doesn’t provide express pick-up – you still have to wait in line to enter the market – it will cut back on time spent shopping.
6. Find vendors using our online Market Maps. Our weekly maps for the Winter Markets go live each week at 12pm every Friday. Click here to view map for Hastings Park. Check the Riley Park page each week for updated zone map (link changes week to week).
7. Plan your shop ahead of time. Below is a list of some essential and high demand items that can be found at the Winter Markets right now. Click on individual vendors to view their upcoming market dates and compile a shopping list before you come.
Fresh greens (selection varies by vendor) – Farmer Koo (veggie starts for the garden), Shalefield Organic Gardens, The Foraged Land Farm, The Local Farm, Vancouver Food Pedalers
Winter vegetables (selection varies by vendor) – BC Garlic Growers, Crisp Organics, Cropthorne Farm, Earth Apple Organic Farm, Forstbauer Family Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Klippers Organics, Mushroom Kingdom, Nutrient Dense Farm, Organic Farm Connection, Oyster & King Mushrooms, Paul’s Produce, Shalefield Organic Gardens, Soban Organic Farm
Fruit (including dried and frozen) – Forstbauer Family Farm (frozen blueberries), Klippers Organics (apples, dried fruit), Mandair Farms (frozen berries)
Eggs – Central Park Farms, Cropthorne Farm, Farm House Natural Cheeses, Forstbauer Family Farm, Goldwing, Hillier Farm, Klippers Organics, Outwest Ranches, Rockweld Farm
Dairy – Farm House Natural Cheeses, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, Tesfa Farms
Bread – A Bread Affair, Livia Sweets, Marie’s Guilt Free Baking, Rising Knead Bakery, Sweet Thea Bakery, The Bench Bakehouse
Meat & Seafood – Aurora View Farms, Blue Comet Seafoods, Central Park Farms, Empire Valley Beef, Estevan Tuna, Forstbauer Family Farm, Goldwing, Outwest Ranches, Rockweld Farm, Tesfa Farms
Honey – BCB Honey Farm, Bee Kind Honey Infusions, Corbicula Pollen Ltd., Jane’s Honey Bees
Maple Syrup – Maples Sugar Shack
Dried Beans – Klippers Organics
Preserves & Ferments (selection varies by vendor) – BC Garlic Growers, Klippers Organics, Langley Organic Growers, Le Meadow’s Pantry, Pure Earth Superfoods, Seed to Culture, Soban Organic Farm
Beer, Wine, Spirits – BC Wine Studio, Dageraad Brewing, Luppolo Brewing, Persephone Brewing Co., Snowgoose Brewery Inc., Sons of Vancouver Distillery, Steel & Oak Brewing Co., Wayward Distillation House
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available at the Winter Markets! Check out our Vendor/Product Search tool if you’re look for something specific.
Please note: market schedules can change day to day, so please check back with our weekly updates at eatlocal.org.