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Newtown Farmers Market Returning To Fairfield Hills, June 23



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The Newtown Farmers Market will open for the 2020 season on Tuesday, June 23. Social distancing and precautions will be implemented to keep the open-air market as safe as possible for vendors and shoppers.

“We’re very excited,” Natalie McCraigh, one of the market managers, said in a recent phone interview.

The market runs from 2 pm to 6:30 pm, every Tuesday this summer, on the Fairfield Hills campus.

Some changes for the market this year, due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, include enforcing social distancing, separating vendors by 12 feet, and limiting the market to food vendors only. Masks that cover the nose and mouth must be worn by vendors and shoppers alike.

McCraigh shared that the food vendors will include local produce, prepared food, meat producers, and honey. This year, preordering with vendors is recommended to help keep the market as safe as possible.

Another change in market procedures for this year will have vendors helping people select items instead of having the customers touching products. Items will not be exchanged until they are purchased.

McCraigh said the market is returning to the same location it had last year, and the market managers are grateful to the town for that. Last year the market was situated off Keating Farms Avenue, at the site where Woodbury Hall stood before its demolition, as previously reported in The Newtown Bee.

McCraigh said the market managers are expecting 14 vendors to take part in the Newtown Farmers Market this year.

“We are very excited about the wide variety we are bringing to the market this year, despite having to restrict the number of vendors,” McCraigh said.

Real Food Share of Newtown, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports those in need, will also be collecting food donations for local pantries and food banks. McCraigh explained it both distributes food to those in need and collects food for donations.

The Newtown Farmers Market will follow the governor’s and the local health district’s orders, according to McCraigh who added, “We are very lucky we are able to run this market.” Farmers markets in some other towns, she noted, are not yet able to open this year.

“We are very thankful to the town for allowing us to bring the service to the town,” she said.

McCraigh, who is one of the founders of Wonderland Jams, said the outdoor aspect of the farmers market allows the safest environment possible for people to shop for food during a time with food shortages.

For individuals who need assistance, like those who are immunocompromised, volunteers will be available to help.

“We have the best local produce. The best local meats. The best local eggs,” McCraigh said of the variety of food that will be available this year. She added there are some “exciting offers” this year, like the addition of Down to Earth Apiaries of Waterbury, which will sell honey.

Shoppers at the farmers market will also support local businesses like Shortt’s Farm and Garden Center, Wonderland Jam, Sugar Magnolia Bakeshop, and Aquarian Caterers.

McCraigh also noted most vendors accept credit cards, PayPal, or Venmo on site.

Some details are still being worked out, and McCraigh said further information will be posted on the Newtown Farmers Market website, newtownctfarmersmarket.com, and on its Facebook page, facebook.com/farmersmarketatfairfieldhills.

Links to vendor websites are also expected to be posted on the Newtown Farmers Market website.

Andrea Saunders of Crave Custom Cakes and Cookies, shown in this photo taken at the 2019 Farmers Market, was a vendor last year. All vendors for the 2020 market will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth.—Bee file photos
Daffodil Hill Farm employee Erin Dibble hands greens to a customer during the opening session of the Farmers Market at Fairfield Hills in June 2018. Vendors for 2020 will be the only ones handling items for sale, and both customer and vendor will have to wear a face mask.
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