The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s purpose is to conserve and steward the cherished landscapes and rich natural resources of our communities and connect people to nature. Especially in these difficult times, being outdoors in nature has been a refuge for many. We know that access to outdoor spaces should not be a privilege, and yet we also recognize it is not equally available to all members of our community.
The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market has temporarily moved to Brunswick High School in order to adapt to COVID-19 and despite the promising start at the first market of the season, the numbers are down. Alex Lear recently covered the topic in an article in the Forecaster.
Despite a slight uptick in traffic from the year before on opening day, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market has seen decreased numbers in the following weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Several factors are at play, according to Jacqui Koopman, the market’s manager: Not all vendors are back, only one member per household is asked to attend, and the market is at a different site this year.
Koopman said 632 vehicles were counted at the May 2 start of this year’s market, up from 625 on opening day the prior year. But last Saturday saw 599 cars, down from 829 last year.
“We didn’t know what to expect” prior to opening, she said. “I know that we are a very popular market and we have a loyal following. And I also know that people are shopping more at farmers markets because it’s outdoors and it’s safer, and access to local food is easier that way.”
Still, “things are in flux,” which may have an impact on numbers, Koopman said.
Get Outside for Physical and Mental Wellbeing but do it Safely.
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry,
Maine Coast Heritage Trust, The Nature Conservancy in Maine
Biking, boating, hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities are great ways to stay healthy in the age of COVID-19 – provided they are conducted in accordance with all public health restrictions and guidance. As summer weather is fast approaching, Maine’s conservation and recreation communities, natural resource agencies, and outdoor brands developed the following checklists to help us all enjoy Maine’s outdoors in ways that are safe and responsible during this difficult time. Before you hit the trail, cast a line, or launch a canoe, please be sure to:
Find the Right Time and Place
- Know What’s Available: Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or a less-trafficked state park, public land, or local land trust (Maine Trail Finder is a great resource!)
- Check before you go: While some popular conservation lands have closed recently due to overuse and crowding, the vast majority remains open to the public. Visit websites to see the latest information on closures or conditions. Please respect all property closures.
- Have a plan B: If the parking lot is full, the destination is too crowded. If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list!
- Avoid peak times: Get out earlier or later in the day.
Be Prepared Before Heading Out
- Expect limited services: Facilities like public restrooms could be closed, so plan accordingly.
- Dress for success: Be aware of current conditions and bring appropriate gear to match those conditions. Local outdoor brands are open for online sales and are available to give advice on appropriate gear and equipment.
- Support local businesses: Many local businesses – from restaurants and retailers to guides and lodges – are working hard to provide services in ways that are safe and in keeping with public health rules and guidance. If you’re comfortable, consider finding ways to support them while you’re enjoying the outdoors.
- Don’t take risks: Stick to familiar terrain and avoid unnecessary chances to avoid injuries, which add stress on first responders and medical resources.
- Be aware of the rules: Check before you go to see what activities are allowed. If dogs are permitted remember to bring a leash and to properly dispose of waste.
- Watch out for ticks and biting insects: Wear light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and apply EPA-approved bug repellent.
- Leave home prepared with sanitizer and disinfectant.
Heed All COVID-19 Health Warnings
- Practice social distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your household. If necessary, step aside when passing other people on the trail.
- Don’t linger: Shorten your stay when visiting natural stopping points such as waterfalls, summits, and viewpoints so everyone can enjoy them while maintaining a safe distance.
- Bring a mask: When you’re in the vicinity of others, even with six feet of separation, a mask will help keep everyone safer.
- Don’t touch: Avoid touching signs, kiosks, buildings, and benches to minimize the potential spread of the virus.
- If you’re sick, stay home: It puts others at risk when you leave home while exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus.
If we all follow these guidelines and put public health first, we can enjoy Maine’s natural resources in safe and responsible ways as we work through this difficult time together.
Where: Tom Settlemire Community Garden (Maurice Dr. Brunswick)
- Bring exact change or pay with a check
- Stay 6 feet apart from others
- Wear a mask
- Stay home if you are feeling ill or have been exposed to someone who is sick
- Use hand sanitizer
When: Sat., May 30, 9am- 12pm
What’s for sale:
Jet Star Tomato- FEDCO’s best selling hybrid tomato. Produces prolific 7-8 oz tomatoes.
Rutgers Original Tomato- great old time flavor. Outstanding slicing, cooking canning fruit.
Sun Gold Tomato- “there is no summer without Sun Golds”- a spectacular tasting cherry tomato.
Premio Tomato-Cluster tomato, almost 4 oz tomatoes with 4-8 per cluster, Juicy , sweet, firm
King of the North Pepper- the most popular green pepper- produces a good crop in Maine
All seeds from FEDCO- raised organically
PRICE: $4.00 per plant donation to BTLT Garden Project. Please bring exact change, or a check.
Questions or Preorders?: Call Tom 207-841-6747