While some of you left Wageningen when Covid-19 hit, others stayed and often looked forward to Saturdays to wander around the market and share a social moment with long-lost friends. The retailers at the Wageningen market did notice that less students come to the market compared to pre-Covid times. In fact, they’ve noticed a lot over the past year, because they have stayed through it all!
On yet another sunny Saturday, we bring to you two more interviews from your favourite stalls, who share their experience of the market during the pandemic.
Thedinghsweert sells organic vegetables and bread on the market on Saturdays. The bread and seasonal vegetables are grown on the bio-dynamic farm Thedinghsweert in Kerk Avezaath (near Tiel). The other fruits and vegetables are organic and as local as possible, otherwise European. The stall has been at the market since 2002.
What were the main difficulties in the beginning of the lockdown?
One of the main difficulties was the nervous way of movement between humans. The sentence ‘please, feel and look out for each other’s personal borders’ was often told. I said to myself, my main focus is going to be to give trust and happiness towards the people, to not be paranoid due to fear.
How did the public change? Did you observe an increase or a drop in the number of students visiting the market?
Varying. I see a lot of clients taking care and feeling all right with the situation. The stall became more popular and people are taking it as a moment to be social, meet other people and share subtle simple positivity. It is beautiful to receive them too. As for the students, I observed a drop in the number of students visiting the market.
Did the people at the market become more interested in what you are selling?
I think so yes. I didn’t ask around, but my impression is that the need to buy sustainable food is growing. It seems people support a biodynamic or circular way of producing for their health the health and those producing the product, as well as for the climate.
I think more people are aware and love to support local initiatives. And of course, there is the quality and taste of the products! There is such a difference with mass produced products that can be bought in supermarkets.
Did you observe a preference for a certain type of product? Is there for example a vegetable that became more popular during the lockdown?
In the beginning, the ginger and lemons were super popular! I heard stories from clients talking about shii-take being good for immunity, broccoli being good for lungs, etc.
Veendaler Kaas can be found in markets around the Netherlands, offering you a selection of this flat country’s finest cheeses.
Have you noticed a change in the number of students coming and working at the market?
There are less students, I think a lot of them were or are going home. In terms of working at the market, I think there are more. We have two students working here, but I am not sure about the other stalls.
What about the other people coming to the market? Do they ask more questions, do they try out more varieties of cheese?
First, they were asking for table cheese, but now they are also interested in cheeses that would go well with certain wines or for cheese plates. They are spending more money.
Is there something you would like to share about how the market developed during Corona?
I think people see the market as a nice spot to go to. Before they were going shopping or to restaurants, now they come to the market, as it is the only thing they can do. It is also busy, as people don’t want to go to the supermarket.
Is there something you miss?
It is a little bit different. You have the same customers coming every week, before you also had people coming from other cities, now it’s mainly people from Wageningen