By Mike Kruzman /

Vendors and organizers of a local farmers’ market are taking an extra month gather crops and provide safeguards before opening.

This past Sunday marked the traditional start date for the Howell Farmers’ Market, but due to the pandemic, organizers have pushed it to June 7th. Market Manager Colleen Monroe said that aside from a couple of exceptions, most of the farmers don’t have a lot of their produce until then anyways. For ones that offer strong May harvests, like morels and asparagus, she said they are working with those vendors to develop methods for getting them to customers who have come to appreciate them.

She said this decision still weighs heavily on her mind, however, as the Sunday morning market is such a social event, but that it can’t be that right now. Monroe said it needs to be treated more like an outdoor supermarket, in that it should just be one person from the family, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing. This year’s market is moving back to State Street and there will be handwashing stations and distance between booths that wasn’t there before. Vendors are being asked to go cashless for ease and safety, knowing this isn’t possible for everyone. Customers, if paying by cash, are being asked to do so in small bills and with exact change to reduce the number of exchanges.

Despite these requests, Monroe said enthusiasm for the event is still high. She told WHMI that what’s amazing about Howell is that the vendors are like family and all in it together. Monroe said nobody has backed off participating, and that she’s actually had to slow down on accepting new vendors because she wants to make sure she can get the long-time vendors in there and spaced apart.

Monroe said that looking at the vendor list, 95% have qualified to participate and that there aren’t as many as crafters and artisans as she thought, so expect a full market.

For more information and updates, be sure to check out the Howell Sunday Farmers’ Market Facebook page.