Visit the Chestertown Farmers Market Facebook page for contact info for your favorite market vendors! https://www.facebook.com/ChestertownFarmersMarketMD/
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR RE FARMERS MARKET
At our last meeting, the Mayor and Council made the difficult decision to close the Farmers Market until May 15th. At the time, the state government had prohibited meetings of 50 or more people earlier that day, and just two hours before the meeting the federal government (CDC) had recommended to avoid being in groups of more than 10 people.
As you all know, our market for the past several years has included both Farmers AND Artisans, and regularly draws hundreds of people on nice spring/summer/fall days. As such, the Market as normally construed is currently a major public safety hazard during this global pandemic.
Since this decision has gone public, we have been bombarded with emails, texts, etc expressing various levels of outrage at this decision. Please understand that we are reacting to new mandates in real time, and making decisions that would have seemed unimaginable just a couple of weeks ago in the interest of public health.
So here is what we’re going to do: The Market will remained closed completely until the next meeting of the Mayor and Council on Monday, April 6th. This will give us time to see how the spread of this virus plays out, and to see if Governor Hogan will be implementing further restrictions on movement. On the 6th, we will examine possible ways to reopen the Market to FOOD VENDORS ONLY, in a configuration that allows everyone to spread out in a signficant way. Perhaps the Market will be able to open in a scaled down, altered format on Saturday, April 11th. Stay tuned ……..
In the meantime, keep in mind that we have an older population that is potentially very vulnerable to the deadliest effects of the cornavirus. Kent County has 20,000 residents and a very limited number of inpatient beds at our local hospital.
Do that math and it’s easy to see why we all need to be vigilant about the social distancing measures recommended by the CDC, and why the Mayor and Council need to err on the extreme side of caution during these unprecedented times.
Chris Cerino, Mayor
Last Saturday the support from the community at the Market was incredible and we are so very grateful and thankful for the unwavering and strong support from the community.
Despite our best efforts, the Town has made the decision to close down the Market until May 15th. Obviously this is very upsetting news as the Market is essential to supporting the local food system and the economy. A few solutions offered in the discussion were to space vendors, set up hand washing stations, space crowds, and require vendors to use gloves and hand sanitize. However the decision remained to keep it closed.
While grocery stores play an important role in the food system, Farmers Market offer several alternatives that the grocery stores cannot replicate. At Farmers’ Markets, the food does not travel a thousand miles, it is not touched by several hands, and the food is fresher! Grocery stores are not open air, there is a larger area for germs to spread and generally contain larger crowds. Per the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Farmers Market are exempt from the gathering rule. For many vendors at the Market this is their sole source of income and it supports their families and business. It is my firm belief that we should be doing everything we can on developing solutions while keeping the health and safety of the customers the top priority.
We are working on developing other ways to have your favorite market products accessible for you, so please stay updated.
Again thank you for your support, it means the world to us. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Farmers Market Manager
On Saturday mornings from 8 am to noon beginning about the third Saturday in March and ending about the last Saturday in December, located in beautiful Fountain Park in the heart of downtown Chestertown, on Maryland’s Eastern shore you’ll find wonderful fresh home grown produce, herbs, breads, soaps, plants and cut flowers as well as the hand-crafted works of local artisans.
A reduced vendor participation Winter Market remains open throughout the winter, weather permitting.
Chestertown Farmers Market Rules and Regulations (updated 02/24/2020)
Open YEAR ROUND on Saturdays
Contact the Farmers Market
Farm Vendor Inquiries:
Julie King, Farmers Market Manager
Artisan Vendor Inquiries:
Non- Profit Organizations Inquiries:
There is a limited section of the park set aside for non-profits. Contact Bill Ingersoll at Town Hall for information 410-778-0500 or complete the permit form and mail or email to Bill Ingersoll.