Teresa Willman and Matt Robertson of Silver Cloud Farm. Teresa is the Sooke Country Market manager. On May 2, the Sooke Country Market will be set up online in order to adhere to social distancing measures set in place by health authorities. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke Country Market opens online starting May 2

Online version of farmers market created in response to social distancing measures

As many summer events are cancelled due to the pandemic, organizers of the Sooke Country Market have had to get creative this year in order to make it happen.

Beginning on May 2, the Sooke Country Market will be set up online, so residents can still have access to fresh local produce and products even without a formal in-person market.

“After talking to my customers and considering the health and safety of our market farms, the Sooke Country Market board decided the market will temporarily move online to limit potential spread of the virus through contact at the public market,” said Sooke Market manager Teresa Willman, owner of Silvercloud Farm in a press release.

“With the support of the B.C. Association of Farmer’s Market, Sooke Country Market is joining Local Line, an online store designed specifically for farmer markets.”

Customers will be able to scroll through the website and choose products from a variety of local participating vendors. The website allows shoppers to communicate directly with each vendor to organize ordering, payment and pick up options.

RELATED: Sooke Country Market is ‘an experience’

“We do realize there is much more to a farmer’s market than just the products you buy. The personal relationships you develop with the vendors, the music, the atmosphere, the community connections, are all a vital part of what makes a market so wonderful,” said Willman.

The Sooke Country Market has flourished in the community for more than 20 years, bringing residents together every Saturday from May to October to connect with neighbours, taste delicious food, support local farmers, listen to good music, and explore local products, including everything from plants and seeds to art and crafts.

“If we all adhere to the public health recommendations to stay home and social distance when we go out, perhaps the Sooke Country Market will be back on the ground before the end of the season,” Willman said. “Until then – the veggies are growing, the granola is roasting, and vendors are still sewing, knitting, woodworking and painting.”

To register as a vendor, or to tour the online market visit www.sookecountrymarket.com.

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