Every Saturday, 10am – 2pm, May 8 through November 2021
NEW LOCATION: Lumberyard Parking Lot (use 244 Elm Street New Canaan on your GPS). Plentiful, free parking! All of your favorite farmers & vendors from 2020 will be at the Market, along with several new ones. Celebrate Mother’s Day with orchids and greenhouse plants & flowers! Bartlett Tree Experts will be onsite to offer a free tree sapling to the first 300 families.
Town officials on Tuesday approved a proposal to relocate the Farmers Market from its longtime home in the Center School Lot to a corner of the Lumberyard Lot at the train station. The Farmer’s Market is on track to launch May 8 and will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through November.
It will operate in the southwest corner of the Lumberyard, following a 3-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting.
“We think it’s going to be convenient to downtown, convenient for shoppers and guests,” Farmers Market volunteer Patricia Spugani said during the meeting, held via videoconference.
Some 30 vendors have already submitted applications to the New Canaan Health Department and the new space allows for expansion to accommodate additional vendors if needed, she said. “We are going to continue to require masks in the market and social distancing, along with that, no samples and no pets, which is consistent with any farmers market, with no pets,” she said. “One thing that is different, though, consistent with how we all behave in grocery stores, shoppers will be able to select their own produce. We think that food handling has been safe now, we know enough about the virus that people know to wash produce when they bring it home, and it will also keep things, traffic moving better in the market if the vendors do not have to do that for shoppers.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 to approve the new location for the Farmers Market.
According to a graphic that Spugani and Market Master Lexi Gazy presented at the meeting, motor vehicles will enter and exit the lot from Elm Street (opposite Karl Chevrolet), and there will be more than 100 on-site parking spaces for shoppers.
After a smooth New Canaan Farmers Market “drive-thru” model debut last weekend, town officials say they’ve green-lighted a larger pickup-only event for Saturday and will consider a restricted walk-thru system after May 20. Conceived as a way to hold the popular Farmers Market while observing guidelines to limit transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the 300-patron drive-thru model used an advanced registration system and “was very well-organized,” according to New Canaan Health Director Jennifer Eielson.
“There were no issues, we did not have a single issue,” Eielson told NewCanaanite.com.
“There were no traffic problems, either,” she added.
The 300 slots for those seeking to order in advance and pick up locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey and other items from select vendors filled up quickly, and the approximately 530 slots approved for this coming Saturday’s second drive-thru also have been taken, officials said. Eielson said a proposed walk-thru model is to be approved by the Board of Selectmen and leaders in the New Canaan Emergency Operations Center. Asked what types of restrictions could be part of it, Eielson said a one-way flow of pedestrian traffic, standing markers on distancing so attendees know specifically where they can be in approaching vendors’ tables, hand-washing stations, masks and limitations on how many people could move through it simultaneously.
Patricia Spugani, a New Canaan resident and longtime Farmers Market attendee who has volunteered this year to help steer those who organize the event through municipal approvals, said the proposed walk-thru model “will implement all social distancing guidelines that the state has required.”
“The state considers the Farmers Market to be an essential business and we consider it to be an open air grocery store,” she said. Customers visiting the vendors’ tables would maintain six feet of distance between themselves and those selling, and would not handle any of the goods, she said.
The New Canaan Farmers Market will open May 9 under a new “drive-thru” model that requires those seeking fresh local food to register in advance for pickup, officials say. Launched around this time each spring, the popular Farmers Market will see shoppers purchasing produce and other items from a limited number of vendors in advance, and then scheduling their pickup times at the Center School Lot in preset intervals in order to avoid traffic congestion, according to New Canaan Director of Health Jennifer Eielson. No money will be exchanged at the market itself, she said. “This is an indicator that we are planning ahead for a reopening plan, and as part of that, you have to do incremental baby steps,” Eielson told NewCanaanite.com. “Part of getting back to normal this time year is the Farmers Market.
The New Canaan Farmers Market is celebrating its 20th season. The market will open on Saturday, April 27, 2019 and continue through Mid-December, pending weather conditions, from 10:00am to 2:00pm every Saturday, rain or shine. Nestled on the edge of downtown New Canaan, with a quick stroll to the market, one can easily see why it was voted “2005 Best Farmers Market of the Gold Coast” by the readers of the Moffly Publications local magazines and 2006 Best Farmers Market of Fairfield County by the readers of Fairfield County Weekly newspaper. From the scrumptious smell of a perfectly ripened peach to the ever-tantalizing tastings of the freshly-made pesto and tomato samples, it will be hard to resist such simply elegant cuisine.