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Mount Hood Farmers Market offers virtual sales, pickup to customers Thursday afternoons

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The Mount Hood Farmers Market is taking on a virtual format in the name of public health. In a time when many are looking for fresh produce to keep their families healthy while quarantined, AntFarm has provided a hyperlocal option by opening a hybrid of the Mount Hood Farmers Market.

"This online market will work very well to honor the space we're in," said Executive Director Nunpa.

Because of the need for social distancing, Mount Hood Farmers Market has gone virtual. You can now select the items you want from the market online, then stop by AntFarm Cafe & Bakery, 39140 Proctor Blvd., Sandy, to pick up your packaged items. The orders will be bagged and placed in alphabetical order by the customer name in the dining room area of the cafe with receipts to denote whose order it is. All staff working at AntFarm are trained in COVID-19 safety practices and masked.

So far, nine vendors are featured on the website, including a few local artists, farmers and AntFarm Cafe.

Items offered by vendors include home-canned goods, produce, baked goods, coffee, tea, vinyl stickers and greeting cards. Orders made by 5 p.m. on Wednesday can be picked up at AntFarm Cafe & Bakery between 1-5 p.m. Thursday on a weekly basis.

Within the next few weeks, AntFarm is expecting farms like Smart Asters and Slice of Heaven to bring some plant starts into the mix.

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - AntFarm closed the cafe for takeout a few weeks ago, but will now utilize the large dining space for a socially distanced market pick-up area. Market Manager Carolanne Platt, who is currently working in a volunteer capacity, said the market is trying to reserve spots for those with more perishable and essential items like produce.

"We want to focus on providing essential products and services, (so) we want as many food vendors as possible," Nunpa explained.

Nunpa said the market might open up to more vendors outside of food and plants closer to May 1, when they traditionally open, but has not set any of those plans in motion.

"I want to set the tent up — just to get the tent up and give the community hope," Nunpa added. "We'll prepare ourselves but we're not setting a date. We're pretty excited about this online market. We're at the frontlines (of using this format). The idea is to let the farmers still sell their product."

"(The market) is a lot of people's income," Platt said. "So many people rely on this. AntFarm is here to help all of the vendors."


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