Field to Family announced on Thursday it will reopen its online farmers market this year, with the order page going live on Tuesday, April 27, at noon. Orders will be available for pick-up on Saturday, May 1 — the same day that in-person shopping (with certain pandemic precautions) resumes at the Iowa City Farmers Market in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp.
Last year, Field to Family partnered with the Department of Parks and Recreation, which runs the city’s farmers market, to create an online farmers market with contact-less drive-through order pick-up to replace the traditional one that was canceled due to COVID-19. While the city has revived a masked-up and socially distanced version of its farmers market, Field to Family decided to hold another online one to “enhance access to local foods by creating an additional opportunity for consumers and producers to connect during a difficult time,” according to a written statement from the Iowa City-based nonprofit.
“The online market provides an additional avenue for us, as an educational nonprofit, to share food system education, encourage deeper connections to local growers and promote healthy, local foods,” Field to Family director Michelle Kenyon said in the statement.
Thirty-one vendors have already signed up for the online market, “offering plant starts, produce, meat, dairy and value-added food products.”
Although the online ordering process at Field to Family’s website will be the same as last year, pick-up will be different. Instead of driving through the Chauncey Swan ramp — which will be full of shoppers on Saturdays — drive-through pick-up will occur at the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building parking ramp, at the corner of Clinton and Benton streets.
Field to Family said in its statement it encourages anyone interested in shopping at the online market to register as a customer prior to April 27, in order to make sure they receive all updates about the program.
The nonprofit is also looking for volunteers to assist with the farmers market and its other programs. Anyone interested in volunteers, as well as prospective vendors or customers wanting more information, should check Field and Family’s website.