Living Sustainably: Holland Farmers Market opens with new safety regulations

By Lisa Uganski, Ottawa County Department of Public Health
It’s that time of year when many people look forward to shopping outdoors at farm markets. The Holland Farmers Market is now open to provide the community with fresh, local and healthy food in a safe outdoor environment.
Due COVID-19 concerns, the market has implemented a number of safety regulations for vendors and customers. If planning to shop at the market, customers should be aware that:
The market will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. However, the hour from 8 to 9 a.m. will be strictly reserved for those who are immunocompromised, aged 60-plus, and pregnant women.

 The perimeter of the Eighth Street Market Place will be fenced and there will be three entrances and exits for customers. Vendors will be located outside only and access to the Holland Civic Center will be limited to the restrooms only. Market staff will count the number of shoppers coming in and out so they can ensure that everyone can maintain adequate social distancing. Please expect to wait in line and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and others while doing so.
 Please avoid shopping at the market if you, someone you live with, or someone you’re caring for has been ill within the last 14 days. (Excluding health care workers.)
 Customers are highly advised to wear masks while they shop.
 Please be mindful to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and other customers at all times to keep yourself and your fellow customers safe and healthy.
 Please shop as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s recommended that you to shop alone, without children and with as few family members as possible.
 Shoppers are encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands before entering the Eighth Street Market Place and again when leaving.
 Customers are advised to wash all produce and wipe down all food packages prior to eating and storing products at home.
 Food is not allowed to be consumed onsite at the market.
 Dogs are still prohibited at the Holland Farmers Market.
 Bridge Cards (SNAP or EBT), Pandemic EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC Project Fresh, Senior Project Fresh and Market Bucks are all accepted as payment, in addition to cash. There is currently no limit on how much you may “double up” if using your Bridge Card or Pandemic EBT card. Some vendors also accept credit cards.
 A number of vendors allow customers to pre-order products in advance via phone, website or email with product pick-up at the market. Customers are highly encouraged to explore this option with individual vendors. For more information, visit or call (616)355-1138.

 Lisa Uganski is a registered dietitian and has been working at the Ottawa County epartment of Public Health for 19 years. Lisa has a passion for making healthy food available and accessible to everyone. She is the coordinator of Ottawa Food, a collaboration of local agencies and individuals that exists to ensure that all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and affordable food choices.

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community & Neighborhood: The places we live and the individuals we interact with support the development of our personalities and perspectives on life. Encouraging vital and effective communities is essential.

Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to for more information.

Safe practices at the Holland Farmers Market include limiting access points to control the size of the crowd. Photo courtesy City of Holland.
The Holland Famers Market is open with safe practices in place, including limiting the numbers of shoppers and encouraging wearing of masks. Photo courtesy City of Holland.
Healthy eating, like fresh in-season asparagus, is matched up with healthy social distancing practices at the Holland Farm Market. Photo courtesy Holland Farmers Market.