Farms and farmers are absolutely essential under any circumstances, and the Kennett Square Farmers Market, a program of Historic Kennett Square, has been able to remain open, with modifications, to bring locally grown produce, meat, and other products to customers in Kennett Square.

The Market opened its twenty-first regular weekly season last Friday in the parking area of The Creamery—a space which allows both vendors and customers to practice physical distancing and also provides easy access to plenty of free parking.

“Farmers markets are considered essential and life-sustaining by the state of Pennsylvania, and we’re grateful to be able to continue providing fresh food direct from local farms to the community,” says Farmers Market Manager Ros Fenton. “As the holes in our industrial food system come to light during this crisis, more people are realizing the benefits of supporting local farms, producers, and businesses and keeping our local economy strong.”

Historic Kennett Square’s Main Street Manager Claire Murray agrees. “One of the effects of the current situation is it highlights the importance of having a thriving local food system to nourish the local community,” she says.

“With an informed concern for safety, a collaborative spirit, and flexibility, the Farmers Market has been able to quickly pivot, adapt, and go forward. Market Manager Ros Fenton and our market vendors are shining examples of resiliency. All involved deserve a ton of admiration for their hard work and willingness to make changes. The Market is truly a model of how to move forward providing product to the community while keeping the community safe,” says Murray. “While the Creamery remains closed for now, we’re particularly thankful for the Creamery team and their offer of space. This new larger venue is one of the many factors that makes the Market possible at this time.”

The Market’s change of venue is another example of the kind of collaboration that helps to keep our community strong in difficult times. “The Creamery was created for neighbors in Kennett Square to come together and gather in a place celebrating re-use, re-claiming and re-imagining what community can be; sadly, our mission has been particularly impacted by the coronavirus as we need to stay apart. The Creamery and Square Roots Collective are thrilled that the Kennett Square Farmers Market can operate on Birch Street and we’re thankful for the semblance of normalcy and community connection,” says Sandra Mulry, Brand and Creative Lead at Square Roots Collective.

The increased demand for locally grown food is also part of a larger trend, says PA Farm Markets Director and Penn State Extension Education Program Associate Brian Moyer. “My work with farmers markets means I get to see markets across the Commonwealth, and we’re seeing new faces at our markets. A lot of people who have never shopped at our markets are now benefiting from the short supply chains of local food and the fact that our markets consistently provide high quality products throughout this crisis. The markets have worked very hard to put measures in place to provide safe operating conditions for both customers and vendors.”

The Kennett Square Farmers Market is held from 3 to 6pm every Friday, rain or shine, at The Creamery on Birch Street, with free parking at 226 East Birch Street (across from Braeloch Brewing). The first half hour, 3–3:30pm, is reserved for seniors and high-risk customers to shop more safely.

Some vendors are choosing to operate as “pre-order only” for now, while other vendors are offering contact-free shopping and payment options—and some are offering both. “We want to allow as many vendors as possible to participate, giving customers options as well,” says Fenton. Customers are asked to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For complete details, subscribe to the Kennett Square Farmers Market newsletter or follow the Market on Facebook.