Food Scene Column: The ‘new normal’ markets

Hazel Roberts catches up with Kishan from The Indian Orchard to find out how Farmers Markets operate under Covid-19 measures…

Like so many aspects of normal life, Farmers Markets were thrown into confusion by Covid-19.

As we discover a ‘new normal’, it is understandable that traders and customers alike might be unsure what to expect, yet we all appreciate the need to support our local economy and small businesses.

The Indian Orchard will be a familiar brand to people who frequent the local farmers markets, so I caught up with Kishan to get the inside view of the situation.

As with so many other traders, lockdown had a massive impact on his business, with markets and events being cancelled in rapid succession.

He quickly shifted to a greater online presence and launched a local delivery service. However, soon the markets began to reopen to food stalls and, over time, to other businesses too.

Kishan explains that some markets have brought in new layouts and one-way systems and stallholders have hand sanitiser and reminders about social distancing on display.

He says there has been a real community spirit about it, with both the organisers and vendors pulling together to make the events safe and successful.

He has been pleased by how well the public have supported the reopening of the events, with the first
market to reopen in each location being a real hit.

He is grateful that people are making an effort to support local businesses. With good safety measures
in place at all the markets he trades at, he encourages people to have the confidence to come out and shop.

As well as The Indian Orchard, other regular local food traders at these markets include The Chocolate Mill MK, Reasons to Season, The Fruity Farmer, Open Air Foods, Moorgate Farm, Crayfish Capers, Catering U Like and Amazing Grains.

If you want to get out to shop locally the following markets are currently running:
• Odell’s Yard, Stony Stratford – every Saturday
• Wolverton Community Farmers Market – every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month
• Winslow Farmers Market – 1st Sunday of the month
• Olney Farmers Market – 1st Sunday of the month
• Woburn Sands Community Market – 2nd Saturday of the month

This feature was published in the September 2020 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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