Summer is THE season for farmers markets, and while many things will be different during summer 2020, farmers markets in Philly are able to proceed with precautions in place.

Despite restrictions due to coronavirus, farmers markets are still the best place to get local and organically grown fruits and veggies and other homemade items. The produce is fresher, it lasts longer, there’s less handling than in the big grocery stores since it’s going from the grower to the customer, and on top of it all … you’re supporting small local businesses.

Here’s a list of some of the best farmers markets in Philadelphia, featuring our 2020 Happening List Winner & Finalists, plus a few more:

Reading Terminal Market – 2020 Happening List Winner

When: Temporary hours during the pandemic are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. is reserved for ages 65+ (only door #9 will be open and security will check ID)
Where: 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia

You can’t spend a leisurely afternoon shopping and eating at the Market like before, but Reading Terminal Market has remained open during the pandemic as an essential business. They’ve made some changes to make things safer in respects to health concerns. They’re limiting the number of people inside at any one time. You can only access through door #2 (Dienner’s/Lancaster County Dairy on Arch Street), door #4 (Carmen’s on 12th Street), and door #9 (By George/Lovine’s on Filbert Street.) You must wear a mask to enter. To help customers, the Market is providing discounted parking options. See the Reading Terminal Market website for details.

All of the Market’s fresh food merchants (meat, produce, seafood, cheese, dry/shelf stable goods) are stocked and open for business. You can also shop online or call the store directly to arrange delivery.

The Food Trust Farmer’s Markets – 2020 Happening List Finalist

When and Where:
There are 4 year-round Food Trust Farmer’s Markets that are currently open with precautions in place.

Fitler Square, 23rd and Pine Streets
Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. reserved for seniors/immunocompromised

Clark Park Saturday Farmers Market, 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. reserved for seniors/immunocompromised

Headhouse Square, 2nd and Lombard Streets
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. reserved for seniors/immunocompromised

Following guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and health departments across the country, The Food Trust will keep its three year-round farmers markets (Fitler Square, Clark Park and Headhouse) open during the city’s evolving COVID-19 shut-down. During this crisis, farmers markets remain a critical point of access for affordable, healthy food, particularly for individuals relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Precautions during this time include spacing vendors at least 6 feet apart, hand-washing stations throughout the market, and signs reminding customers about CDC guidelines. Only farmers will touch items for sale. Farmers will pre-bag produce when possible. Visit their website for a list of vendors each week at each location as well as information about how to pre-order/pre-pay from specific vendors.

(Photo by Kory Aversa.)

Fountain Farmers Market

When: Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. now through the fall
Where: (New Temporary Location!) Outside the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, 1430 East Passyunk Avenue

For the new summer 2020 season, the Fountain Farmer‘s Market will return and move to this brand-new temporary location that features more space and a change of layout to ensure the health and safety of farmers and patrons. The market is organized by Farm to City with locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables from Fruitwood Farm and Berry Patch Produce. When open with a full selection of rotating seasonal inventory, look for everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, local honey, fresh cut flowers, baked goods and more. Customers are asked to enter the market on Dickinson Street and exit onto East Passyunk Avenue. Follow one direction shopping foot traffic pattern. Wear a face covering. Maintain social distancing. Stay behind the rope or barrier in front of producer’s stand, and be mindful of shopping quickly and then going on your way. Visit the Farm to City Markets website for a full lost of vendors and produce available.

(From the Rittenhouse Farmers Market Facebook page.)

Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market

When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for pre-order pickup only (with entry limited to 30 minute slots based on your last name) and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for retail shopping (enter at 19th Street)
Where:  19th and Walnut Streets

While shopping the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market isn’t currently the social experience it used to be, you can still find quality items such as bakery goods, wild bison, exotic mushrooms, farm fresh eggs, fresh spring produce, seafood and more. To make things flow more smoothly and space out customer entry, you can choose to either pre-shop and simply pickup your orders on Saturday morning, or shop in person later in the morning into the afternoon. Visit the website starting each Tuesday to shop for the next Saturday market. While visiting, please wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and stay behind rope or barriers in front of stands.

Italian Market

When: Hours vary depending on merchants. Visit the website.
Where: S. 9th Street from Wharton to Fitzwater Streets

The 9th Street Italian Market is the nation’s oldest continuously operating outdoor market, spanning over 20 blocks! Without the usual festivities, including the famous Italian Market Festival held every May, things look a bit different this year. But you can still shop fresh produce, meats, poultry, cheese, seafood, bakery goods, prepared Italian favorites and more.

Visit the Italian Market website for details on which merchants are offering curbside shopping, takeout, and delivery.

By the way, they’re planning to now hold their 9th Street Stroll Festival in October!

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