Auburn Farmers Market preps for mid-June opening

As the Auburn Farmers Market establishes itself in just its third year in its new pavilion, management and the vendors won’t let the coronavirus keep it from opening its 2020 season.

Though it’s been pushed back a couple of weeks, the opening of the Auburn Farmers Market is still on track for a June opening. Originally scheduled to open on June 2, this year’s market will now officially start on June 16.

"The farmers thought that if we had a couple more weeks, they would have more produce to sell. So we decided with the vendors as a team to open a little later," says Robin Devereaux, who manages the market.

"We would usually wrap up by the end of September but now we’re extending the season a couple weeks into October. Maybe we’ll get to do a little Halloween event for the kids by then."

Keeping things flexible and fluid is an important skill to have in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than cut off vendor applications with a deadline earlier this spring, the market is accepting submissions throughout the year.

Market management is making the social distancing measures required of it. Vendors are spaced out. Social distancing marks are taped across the floor. Food trucks will only be allowed to sell pre-packaged goods.

Unfortunately for the market, any special events, like Bay County Library's popular children’s reading program, are canceled. Fortunately, however, Devereaux says that patrons can still support local farmers by shopping each week.

"I’m a farm girl. When I grew up, we raised everything — meat, produce, you name it. When we got a can of Campbell’s Soup we thought it was a present," Devereaux says.

"Growing your own food or sourcing it locally is healthier. And we are supporting each other when we do that."

The 2020 season for the Auburn Farmers Market kicks off with a grand opening celebration on June 16. The market, located inside the Auburn Park, expects to remain open into October. It will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Read more about the market in this April 2 Route Bay City story.

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