WEST DES MOINES, Iowa– Thursday, the Historic Valley Junction will begin its annual Farmer’s Market. However, this year’s ‘Mini Farmers Market’ will be on a smaller scale than normal.
With around 160 local businesses in the West Des Moines neighborhood and 85 additional small businesses that participate in the Valley Junction Farmers Market, organizers say it was inevitable to downsize. In fact, this year Valley Junction will only host 20 vendors.
Though it was difficult to make the final decision, the Historic Valley Junction Foundation said they exist to support local businesses and the coronavirus won’t put a hold on that.
“It’s another way to support local but also help people get access to healthy food, Executive Director, Matt Hauge said. “And to the degree that we can run an outdoor event that we think we can run safely, we’re going to do it.”
Along with supporting local businesses, Valley Junction’s main priority is also keeping the public safe.
These are a few new guidelines put in place for the Mini Farmers Market:
- Customers are asked not to touch the produce and instead ‘point and pick’. A vendor will bag your item for you.
- They’re encouraging everyone to wear masks.
- Pets will not be allowed, only service animals are permitted.
- All food will be made to go. There will not be seating in the farmers market.
One vendor, G Migs, who’s been in the Valley Junction Farmers Market for eight years now says they are more than excited to participate this year. Like many other small businesses, the owners of the local pub said they’ve been greatly impacted by the pandemic. They’re hoping this farmers market shows the different measures they’re taking to provide safe service.
“These are troubling times with the virus and we want to make sure that they understand that if they do choose to come down it’s a safe environment. We’re going to have great food for them. And it’s going to be a fun day,” Owner of G Migs, George Migliero said.
The Valley Junction Farmers Market is Thursday from 4-8 p.m.
The Uptown Ankeny Farmers Market is also scheduled to open this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.