Njeri Harris likes to hold and feel the produce she buys regularly at the Clark Park Farmers Market, which operates year-round in West Philadelphia.
Farmers and food vendors at the market usually display their bounties for people passing by to smell and even try — fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, eggs, milk, mushrooms, baked goods and wine produced right here in Pennsylvania.
“What kind of greens are this? Are these dandelion greens?,” she asked from a line formed six feet away from a vendor’s produce table. “Can I have one, please?”
Farmer markets across the region are no longer hands-on. Samples, prepared foods and crafts are gone. Meandering from shop to shop while hanging out with a friend is a thing from the past. Most of the produce is pre-packaged, everyone is wearing masks and standing away from each other. In some markets you can only buy if you pre-order online.