DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers’ Market will host virtual events for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday will be the first virtual market meetup from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Facebook Live. The virtual meetup will have a variety of live and pre-recorded interviews, entertainment and more.
“As much as we wish we could have all of our vendors participating, what we are doing is we’re asking our vendors to send us some videos of themselves and the farm and talk about how people can connect with their product,” said Downtown Farmers’ Market Director Kelly Foss.
Foss said for at least the first three weeks these virtual meetups will replace the traditional market. Each week will feature and least a dozen different vendors.
“The main message is how can I get this farmers’ market product, how can I connect with my favorite vendor,” Foss said.
Bozz Prints owner John Bosley said it’s been five years since he started selling his product at the market.
“The farmers’ market is how I got my start. Now I’ve got this big brick-and-mortar store which is closed right now, but the farmers’ market has just been huge for us over the years,” Bosley said.
Bosley has moved his whole business online during the pandemic, as his doors remain closed for the time being.
Fresh Wheatgrass Girl owner Kerri Rush said she will be participating in the first virtual meetup on Saturday.
“I’m being optimistic about it. I think we just need to go with the flow and know that everybody is doing their best,” Rush said.
Foss said people can go online and learn more about all the vendors at the downtown market and how to purchase their products during the pandemic.
“Our next steps are just happening as we speak, but we will definitely be working with city officials and the mayor and make sure we are able to modify the farmers’ market in a way that meets all the regulations and all the expectations and in a way that our vendors can feel safe, the customers can feel safe,” Foss said.
The Virtual Market Meet-Up will take place May 2, May 9 and May 16.