Local growers push through COVID-19 with help from farmers’ markets


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – During the pandemic, many people flocked to grocery stores for essentials but since then farmers markets have also gained popularity among many people in the Upstate. 

Over the past few weeks, the Greenville State Farmers Market has remained busy, especially on Saturdays when farmers from all across the Upstate come to sell new products, and because of that S.C. Department of Agriculture put precautions in place to help protect shoppers.

“We’re taking precautions such as social distancing. We have signs up that say stay six feet apart and we have hand sanitizer and things throughout the market for people to use,” Ardona Summerall, marketing manager at S.C. Department of Agriculture said.

Many workers and customers in the market were wearing masks and gloves, and large cannisters of Lysol wipes were placed beside cash registers.

Large crowds also mean many purchases. And just like many big box grocery stores, some vendors are running out of essentials, such as eggs and bread.

“We’ve been low on eggs about every week, dry beans and especially dry beans they’ve been sold out,” Gene Conwell, owner of G and G Retail said.

As demand for food increases and events continue to be cancelled, farmers continue to search for new places to sell their goods. 

Jessica Monroe, director of Greer Farmers Market, stepped in to provide a safe platform for local farmer’s to sell goods.

She teamed up with the YMCA to host a farmers market in their front parking lot.

Jessica Monroe, director at Greer Farmers Market, and William Coates, director of Development Eastside Family YMCA

According to William Coates, director of development at Eastside Family YMCA, he decided to help Monroe after she posted to Facebook about her need to help local farmers.

“We discovered on Facebook that the Greer Farmers Market were needing a place to hold their event, and I reached out to Jessica and said, ‘Hey we’ve got an empty parking lot and would love for you guys to join us, ” Coates said.

After reaching out, Coates, Monroe and several vendors gathered in the parking lot and set up tents and tables Tuesday evening.

“The main thing is to support our local farmers who are really struggling right now. Normally they sell to restaurants or they have big events that are happening on the weekends, and a lot of those have been canceled. So our goal for today is to support our farmers,” Monroe said.

For more information on how you can help support local farmers or where to find one, visit this Local Harvest website.

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