NECT Farmers Market, or the Northeast Connecticut Farmers Market, has four different locations, and hosts four farmers markets weekly, in the towns of Putnam, Killingly, Plainfield, and Brooklyn, according to organization secretary Katie Herrick.
Herrick is also a vendor at the markets.
Farmers change based upon location, with some farmers attending all four locations weekly, others only one.
“It depends on the farmers’ availability and crops,” said Herrick.
NECT likes to have as much diversity as possible, said Herrick, and strives to have at least one type of vendor at each location.
Herrick said that NECT has seen a trend at this year’s markets.
“We have seen a slight uptick in customers seeking out local produce, meats, and other items,” she said. “The availability in stores is inconsistent, and our customers have stated that they enjoy and feel safe coming to our markets.”
All four markets managed by NECT Farmers Markets are running at full capacity.
“We have changed our setups slightly to accommodate social distancing and reduce handling,” said Herrick. “Our farmers are wearing masks, using sanitizer, and cleaning regularly.”
The biggest change due to COVID, according to Herrick, is social distancing.
“We have had no problems with customers respecting each other and our farmers,” she said.
The NECT Farmers Market has not implemented curbside service.
“We do have a CSA for our Monday market, which allows customers to grab their produce and leave,” said Herrick.
Farmers are also willing to develop individual plans with customers to help them feel comfortable, she added.
Although the NECT Farmers Market normally partners with the town of Killingly to participate in the Tomato Festival each year, that tradition has fallen victim to COVID-19 this year.
“Unfortunately, that has been canceled for this year,” said Herrick.
The farmers participating in the NECT Farmers Market pride themselves on bringing the freshest products to their customers.
“We have a great variety of farmers showcasing a vast variety of produce, meats, soaps, honey, etc. from all over the northeast corner,” said Herrick. “We are very proud of our markets and our customers’ ability to adapt and still show up to support our farmers.”
The Putnam Riverview Market is held on Mondays, from 3:30 to 6 p.m., at 18 Kennedy Drive. The Plainfield Farmers Market is held on Tuesdays, from 4 to 6 p.m., at 651 Norwich Road (Route 12). The Brooklyn Farmers Market is held on Wednesdays, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Ocean State Job Lot plaza (560 Providence Road/Route 6). The Killingly Farmers Market is held on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Killing Library (25 Westcott Road, Danielson).