CLINTON — The Lyons Farmers Market opened as planned Wednesday with 6-foot social distancing, masks and hand sanitizers recommended.
Buyers were waiting when the buzzer announced 4 p.m., the first moment vendors are allowed to sell.
Ken Shelly of Goose Lake brought his onions, squirrel corn, jams and jelly. This early in the season, that’s all he has.
Shelly’s sister Judy Klinkhammer and friend Denny Greve of Clinton helped set up – two tables deep to meet social distancing guidelines.
“We just have to do what we have to do,” Shelly said from behind his mask.
Jean Morgan of Camanche filled bags with spinach before the 4 p.m. buzzer. “All I have is spinach and onions,” Morgan said. She’ll add more items each week.
The weather has been too cold for her produce, Morgan said. “Not a lot of sunshine lately.” Skies were cloudy Wednesday, but the market takes place rain or shine.
“I’m glad we’re starting,” Morgan said. “Glad [Iowa Gov. Kim] Reynolds let us know ahead of time to get seeds in the ground.”
Morgan said it helps when buyers have correct change.
“They want everyone to stay 6 feet apart,” Diane Etnyre of Thomson, Illinois told buyers at her table. Most wore masks and attempted social distancing.
Diane and her husband Dennis, like other vendors, didn’t have as much produce as they will later in the year. “Every market, there will be more.”
Sandy Jacobs of Clinton buys at the Farmers Market every year. “This is the best place. You always know it’s homegrown.”
Vanesa Barnes of Maquoketa was in town for chemotherapy and heard about the market at MercyOne. Wearing a mask and keeping her distance, Barnes made some purchases in Lyons before heading home.
Liz Woods of Morrison, Illinois stopped by the table of Carol Eads of Fulton, Illinois for strawberry rhubarb jam. She’s not a stranger to the yearly market. “I like to come when they have music,” Woods said.
Janet Jones was looking for corn to feed her squirrels but said she always has to stop to buy peanut butter cookies from Eads.
Ron Lippens of Goose Lake is fairly new to the Lyons Farmers Market. “I just started halfway through last year.”
Lippens sells eggs, and he has plenty. During January and February when they don’t sell as well, he donates eggs to homeless shelters.
“I was selling at a couple of stores,” he said, but they were small stores and they closed. So he sells where he can.
“I’ve got my regular customers,” Lippens said.
Like the other vendors, Lippens wore a mask. He provided hand sanitizer for customers as well.