Soap of the Earth relies heavily on farmers' markets to meet our customers and deliver soap. The quick shut-down of our winter season and delay of the spring season means we are in the same predicament as other small businesses you know and love.
Farmers' markets are deemed essential businesses providing necessary goods. Bear with us as each market adapts according to its size, ability and circumstance. Some have shut down, some provide alternative means, some operate under strict modifications, and some are still hoping to open in May as scheduled. The markets still operating according to schedule have faced tough criticism, but also have their supporters. I can see both sides of the issue.
Remember, farmers have land and lots of fresh air. Social distancing happens naturally for us as we work on our farms. We bring our goods to the market directly from the source, eliminating the repeated handling and contamination potential of box store goods. The market locations are open air or disinfected and vendor stands are spaced 10 ft. apart. Many wear masks and gloves even though it is not required. Vendors encourage pre-orders to speed transactions and reduce contact with money. There is no sampling at this time, but don't let that discourage you! The local farm producers are here for you. They are working hard as ever to do what it takes to get through this, deliver fresh food options and provide healthy food diversity. Woe is the day when we're not encouraged to plant and produce because we're not big enough to be part of the box store supply chain.
For now, in the time of social distancing, we cannot view farmers' markets as the wholesome social gathering places we love to hang out at, but those days will come again. When that happens, we hope you will be there. I hope to have all shared in the awakening of our perceptions of how we need each other. I believe more people than ever will choose to buy local. I believe we will be more environmentally responsible. I believe we will be even more health conscious. Lastly, I believe we will have gained a deeper appreciation for life's fundamentals.
When the time is right for you, reach out to your favorite local producers and support them. Encourage your people to support them. In return, we will keep producing responsible, healthful and flavorful goodies.