You’ve heard of carpool lines, but this week, locals are getting the chance to try a fresh produce line. In keeping with the state’s additional restrictions on social interactions, the Red Stick Famers Market adapted a drive-thru format during its Thursday, March 26, market, 8 a.m.-noon, at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
“This will allow customers to safely select fresh, locally grown produce and meats from familiar vendors without getting out of their cars,” according to BREADA Executive Director Copper Alvarez, who says a few other markets nationwide are trying the format. “Both the Pennington and downtown markets are well-suited to try this new arrangement.”
On Facebook and on its website, the farmers market shared a list of vendors that are providing pre-order options to help the drive-thru go more smoothly. Organizers posted a message Wednesday night saying, “We are going to evaluate things for Saturday after we see how Thursday’s drive-thru goes. We will be posting more details on Friday.”
A global pandemic was the last thing on Louisiana farmers’ minds months ago when they planted their fields for the spring harvest. Making sure the emerging bounty safely reaches consumers is BREADA’s top priority, Alvarez says.
For the last two weeks, the market has deployed different strategies, including moving inventory to the rear of a booth so consumers don’t handle it, and marking the ground with social distancing boundaries. But on Sunday, March 22, after Gov. John Bel Edwards asked citizens to shelter-in-place except for food runs and other necessary errands, market organizers decided to up their game.
It may take a little while to pass through the Thursday line, Alvarez says—but many consumers might have a little extra time on their hands.
And it’s still strawberry season.