The Kennett Farmers Market, which provides a colorful display of locally grown produce and local products every Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm is a breath of fresh air to experienceduring a challenging pandemic social time. Located on Birch Street in the Creamery parking lot, there are between 15 and 17 vendors, following the appropriate guidelines of social distancing and masks, ready to make sales for the week
Ros Fenton, the current Market Manager speaks of the liveliness and delight of having this enterprise in Kennett. Shecomes from a background of having a family garden and being involved in the process of farm to table. She also has a background in retail interior & environmental graphic design, which shows up in the way she interacts with the vendors’ set-up and marketing for the farmers market.
In today’s world of purchasing items once and twice removed, it is difficult to know what and from whom and where we are accessing our food. Attending the FarmersMarket, one has the opportunity to have a conversation with the grower or harvester of the product and experience the vitality offreshly grown produce that is being offered from our local community.
This also goes for the honey, hard cider, soaps and other products that are for sale. There is a wholesomeness and feeling that one is buying a product that had some “love put into it.”
Ros paraphrases the mission of the Farmers Market as one that promotes high quality naturallyand locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as locally-made products, with a direct line to the customer and no middle person taking any of the profit. This is a win-win for the vendor and for the consumer as it helps support the local economy, while building community interaction.
Handling the pandemic in early March, Ros and the vendors pivoted very quickly. In a matter of a couple of weeks, products were being offered through pre-orders taken online and being distributed in the parking lot behind the library through a social distancing pickup procedure. Local producers were appreciative not only for this continuance of sales, but it was a source of advertising local farms, when many fresh products were limited in the grocery stores.
The decision to move from the original downtown State Street to Birch Street is currently related to maintaining social distancing and managing only one entrance to the Market.They also reserve 3:00 to 3:30pm for 60+ and others at risk.
The plan is to stay at this new location until further notice. Fortunately, it is working well with the added note that customers are encouraged to park at 226 E. Birch Street parking lot, to prevent a crowding of parked cars on Birch Street.
The Famers Market, a program of the nonprofit Historic Kennett Square, depends on community business sponsors and individual donors to operate. It also depends on the community to carve out Friday afternoon as an ideal time to get out of the house and purchase local goods for the next week and yes, experience a breath of fresh air.