Gov. Kim Reynolds recently announced that farmers markets across the state would be able to open as the state begins to reopen. Dyersville’s farmers market will start Thursday, May 21, with special guidelines that must be followed. These rules range from attendees practicing social distancing to what products will be sold.

Vendors will have to be six feet apart, they can only sell farm products or food and there will be no picnic tables for market-goers to gather around.

“We are not sure how long these measures will be in place, but we will follow the governor’s requests and Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) health guidelines,” said Karla Thompson, executive director of the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce.

There is the possibility that some of the guidelines could become more permanent, but Thompson hopes the Dyersville farmer’s market can return to what it used to be.

“I hope, in the future, the market can go back to how we did things in the past,” she said. “A social gathering place to purchase food and craft items and give hugs cause we have not seen each other all year.”

Dubuque County is not currently one of the counties opened in Iowa, but 77 other counties are. Some businesses have opened as usual in those counties, while others remain closed until the amount of COVID-19 cases goes down.

The same can be said for consumers as well. Some of the regulars at the farmer’s market will go out right away, but others may proceed with caution.

“I do think customers will come out to the farmers market right away,” Thompson said. “There is nothing better than fresh produce and baked goods. Our market has been around for nearly 20 years, so there has been a relationship built with many regular customers.”

COVID-19 has not scared any of the vendors away, as the same number plans to be there this year compared to years before.

“I have spoken to the vendors and they are eager to get started with the market,” Thompson said. “They understand things will have to be different but that it is for the good of their customers and themselves.”

She added that this pandemic makes people appreciate how “normal and good” they had it before.

New obstacles will be present at the farmers market this year, but they are all measures that are to assure the safety of everyone involved.

“I would just like to ask for patience when customers come to the market and remember spreading out and social distancing,” Thompson said. “We have dedicated vendors that are committed to digging, cleaning, baking and packaging goods each week.”