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Kelowna farmers have first market of the year despite COVID-19 concerns

First farmers’ market of the year in Kelowna
Despite coronavirus concerns, the Kelowna Farmers Market went ahead on Saturday.

It wasn’t the typical season opener for the Kelowna Farmer and Crafter’s Market.

Markings along the ground showed proper physical distancing separation and officials would only allow 30 shoppers inside the market at a time.

“We started our first outdoor market,” said Frances Callaghan, Kelowna Farmer and Crafter’s Market’s coordinator.

“Food and farmers only, today.”

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Only food vendors were allowed to sell their goods, as crafters have not been deemed as essential workers.

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Market organizers said they consulted with the Interior Health Authority and were given the go-ahead as long as they followed proper health protocols for COVID-19.

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“We have sanitizing stations and vendors are all taking the necessary safety precautions,” said Dave Price, Kelowna Farmer and Crafter’s Society’s president.

Twelve food vendors were in attendance to sell their goods.

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“We’re taking extraordinary measures,” said Rachelle Zelaney, Zelaney’s Farm’s owner.

“Everyone is wearing gloves, sanitizing, hand washing and social distancing.”

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Organizers and farmers both agreed, the market is needed not only for farmers to sell their goods, but for Okanagan residents to purchase healthy and nutritious foods.

The market is scheduled for next Saturday, barring any setbacks or changes from IHA or the City of Kelowna.

Okanagan residents struggle with physical distancing
Okanagan residents struggle with physical distancing