Queen Charlotte Farmers Market vendor Deborah Rowe used gloves and Lysol wipes, and asked that only one customer visit her booth at a time at the market on Saturday, April 4, 2020. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Haida Gwaii farmers hope to have market online by mid-April

Physical markets will continue to operate as an essential service

Farmers markets on Haida Gwaii are working to sell vendor products through an online store during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Marylynn Hunt of St. Mary’s Spring Farm in Tlell told the Observer she has been providing information to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) to have local vendors join the voluntary BC Farmers’ Markets Online initiative announced on March 27.

“They’re getting it set up for us,” Hunt said of the BCAFM. “It should be running within two weeks, mid-April.”

She said the online store will show shoppers a list of products that are for sale on-island as well as a choice of vendors, when more than one vendor sells the same product. Orders will go directly to the vendors, who will decide their own prices and delivery methods.

Through the Buy BC program, the Ministry of Agriculture is covering the fees for markets to go online in the 2020 season.

ALSO READ: Women who feed the islands

While Hunt said some vendors do not use computers and will not be using the online platform, “those people can be called.”

The contact information for vendors who are accepting weekly orders leading up to and after the platform is online is posted on the Queen Charlotte Farmers Market Facebook page and Masset Market Facebook page.

The physical markets will continue to operate as an essential service, Hunt added, on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. across from the credit union on Main Street in Masset and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the roadside across from the Queen Charlotte community hall, which is closed from all user access.

She said the physical markets are following recommended safety protocols, such as asking patrons to maintain a 2-metre distance from each other and use provided sanitizers, as well as stay home if they have cold or flu symptoms, or have traveled within the last 14 days.

“Basically all the same things people are doing at the grocery store,” she said.

“The health of the island, the safety of people’s health and food security are paramount right now.”

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Here’s what is considered an essential service in B.C.

In a March 16 letter to the BCAFM, Dr. Eleni Galanis, a physician epidemiologist with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, said farmers’ markets could “continue at this time.”

“Farmers’ markets are not currently considered a high risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19,” Galanis said in the letter. “Farmers’ markets are usually held outdoors and there are usually a limited number of people in any one area at the same time.”

Galanis said the decision had been made after consultation with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

On March 26, the Ministry of Health designated farmers’ markets as essential food and agriculture service providers.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMassetQueen Charlotte

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘At least they’re safe:’ Arrival of new Syrian refugee family to Haida Gwaii delayed due to COVID-19

Operation Refugees says family stuck in Lebanon with no flights, ‘but at least they’re safe’

‘Good news:’ Council of the Haida Nation releases guidelines for expanding social circles

Next steps also say outdoor spaces such as parks, playgrounds, trails may be reopening for day use

Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay wins ‘Most Outstanding School’ award

B.C. School Sports will present school with banner, add GTN to plaque as winners of 2019-2020 year

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read