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Summer markets to open with safety in mind posted on 05/01/2020

Two Mount Hood markets are making cautious plans for returning during the summer season to offer community members access to locally farmed foodstuffs and artisan goods produced in the region.

Both the Hoodland Farmers Market and the Mt. Hood Artisan Market are anticipating shortened seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning on opening with a focus on social distancing and ensuring the safety of the public and vendors at the markets.

“The Hoodland Farmers Market will continue its mission to bring fresh, real food and locally made goods to the people of Mt. Hood while supporting local businesses during these unprecedented times,” said the market’s manager, Lauren Carusona, in a recent press release.

The Hoodland Farmers Market will delay opening from May to June this year. The farmers market is deemed an essential business during the pandemic and will return to its previous home in the El Burro Loco parking lot, 67211 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches every Sunday from noon until 2 p.m. starting June 7.

In response to the pandemic, the farmers market will serve as a place to pick up pre-ordered items and not a place to gather, browse or socialize in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Customers can contact individual vendors and arrange to place prepaid orders for pick up at the market. Contact information for the vendors will be available on the farmers market’s social media and in an email newsletter.

Carusona stated the market has been researching safe distancing protocol used by other farmers markets. No money will be exchanged, a hand washing and sanitizing station will be provided on site and customers will be required to maintain appropriate distances while picking up preordered goods.

Carusona highlighted the fact that while the social element of the market was diminished it was still an opportunity to purchase nutritious, locally produced food and ensure money being spent was supporting the local economy.

“The silver lining of this difficult time is that our community has all that it needs and more and it’s safer,” Carusona said.

The Mt. Hood Artisan Market has six dates planned for the summer. The first artisan market is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in the courtyard at the Mt. Hood Village and RV Resort, 65000 E. Hwy 26 in Welches with a market scheduled every three weeks through September. The schedule is currently tentative depending on state guidelines over the following months.

“We hope to provide a safe environment for our vendors to come out and show their wares,” said market organizer Heidi Flanders. “We want everyone to be safe during these uncertain times and we’ll follow state mandate and guidelines throughout the summer.”

The artisan market strives to be a starting point for new artists and craftspeople in the region who haven’t begun to get their art out to the community.

The markets saw an uptick in interest from vendors and the public after operating for two years and organizers hope for the potential for community members to browse and enjoy entertainment including live music, vendors samples and other activities later this summer if social distancing guidelines are reduced.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to having more community involvement,” Carusona said. “At this time we’re working with the pandemic and making sure we put safety first.”

For more information about the Mt. Hood Artisan Market email Heidi_flanders@equitylifestyle.com. More information about the Hoodland Farmers Market can be found on the market’s Facebook page.

By Ben Simpson/MT

[Editor’s note: following publication in our newspaper, it was announced that the Mt. Hood Artisan Market has been cancelled for this summer.]

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