Outdoor local food markets and farm stands are deemed essential businesses and many markets continue to operate while adhering to COVID-19 limitations. These markets provide an opportunity for community members to access healthy foods, which is especially important during these difficult times. Farmers on the Square (FOTS) in downtown Carlisle is one of only a few producer-only famers markets in the area and FOTS vendors are required to make what they sell and use locally-sourced ingredients.

The farmers market in downtown Carlisle has a history dating back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. According to the FOTS website, “a market house in one form or another occupied the southeast corner of Carlisle’s Square (where the new courthouse now stands) for the better part of 260 years.” The first structure was believed to have stood during the French and Indian War. The last permanent building to house the market was built in 1878 and was demolished in 1952. In 2009, after a 50-year absence, a farmers market returned to its traditional location in downtown Carlisle when Farmers on the Square was established.

In the face of current challenges with quarantining and social distancing, Farmers on the Square (FOTS) in Carlisle proudly continues this tradition of offering fresh and local food to the community while also instituting safety measures to ensure the health and well-being of their customers, vendors, staff, and volunteers. In order to comply with federal and state guidelines, vendors are spaced 10 or more feet apart and are required to wear gloves at all times. There is a hand-washing station and hand sanitizer is available for market customers to use. Vendors are not allowed to provide samples or prepare food at the market. Everyone is encouraged to wear a cloth mask.

In April, FOTS will operate every Wednesday from 3 pm to 6 pm with a dedicated shopping time of 2:30 pm to 3 pm for senior citizens aged 60+. In order to make it as easy as possible to limit contact and maintain social distancing, customers can pre-order and pre-pay from vendors. For more information, click here. Over 10 vendors currently offer this option, allowing you to pre-purchase and pickup a variety of delicious items including bread, baked goods, donuts, chips, canned goods (pickles, jams, guacamole, salsa, and more), honey, cheese, apple cider, microgreens, beef jerky, mushrooms, and eggs. Drive-through pickups are also available.

For updated information on weekly vendors and any other changes, please check Farmers on the Square Facebook page.