UPDATE: West Seattle Farmers’ Market announces closure

(WSB photo, 3/8/20 West Seattle Farmers’ Market)

ORIGINAL 2:42 PM REPORT: Just in from the nonprofit that manages the West Seattle Farmers’ Market and others, a cancellation notice but with word that they’re working on other ways to get fresh food to shoppers:

For 26 years, the Neighborhood Farmers Market has provided the link between hundreds of Washington farmers and food producers and you, our neighborhood shoppers. And that is what we will continue to do as we explore safe options to connect you with local food.

Yesterday evening, the Mayor’s Office notified us that all neighborhood farmers markets in the City of Seattle will be suspended through April 13 in an imperative attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are complying, and with support from the city and our stakeholders it is our goal to welcome you all safely back into the markets as soon as possible.

I want to assure you that our staff, board, and community partners are working around the clock to ensure the Neighborhood Farmers Markets leads an effort to find creative solutions during this time – especially our farmers, food producers, and shoppers who rely on the markets and programs like Fresh Bucks for access to healthy food.

You can do two things to help local growers:

First, if you are interested in deliveries or pick-ups at neighborhood drop points from our over 200 market farmers and vendors, we want to know! As we explore all options to support our local farms and feed the community, you are an essential part of the solution. Fill out the interest form here.

Second, please donate to the Good Farmer Fund. Since 2008, this fund has provided over $250,000 in relief to small farms, who operate on slim margins and face high degrees of uncertainty even during the best of times. We need to replenish the fund and explore alternate funding in order to keep these small businesses in business during this time. Donate today.

In the coming weeks, we will be in regular touch to keep you informed about how COVID-19 is impacting our markets, organization, neighborhood food supply, and the farmers and food producers who make up a thriving local food economy that is now under threat. Our goal is to ensure that farmers markets and vendors survive this unforeseen disruption in their businesses and are able to continue to bring healthy food and vitality into Seattle neighborhoods.

There is work to do, and in the spirit of community, our interconnectedness, and feeding neighbors during good times and bad, you are all needed.

The timeframe means there won’t be another WS Farmers’ Market before Sunday, April 19th.
3:37 PM: Another email from Farmers’ Market management: “Please stay tuned for a corrected announcement from our organization later today. We regret the mixed messages during a confusing time, and are working internally and with our stakeholders to get you an update as quickly as possible.” We’ll update when we get it.

5:11 PM: Still waiting for the Farmers’ Market update, but the mayor’s office has just announced that her order suspending events such as these markets takes effect Monday, so we’re waiting to hear if that means one last market on Sunday or not.

7:51 PM: The Farmers’ Market management’s updated announcement says the market is suspended immediately, so NO market Sunday or subsequent Sundays until at least April 19th.

13 Replies to "UPDATE: West Seattle Farmers' Market announces closure"

  • NIcole March 13, 2020 (7:45 pm)

    Farmers will not be able to recover from this. There must be other options besides a random box of things from various farms.  We can still shop at grocery stores, right? So, why can’t we shop from our farmers directly? I think we might be taking things a bit too far with this one.

    • Denise March 13, 2020 (8:21 pm)

      I totally agree!

  • I💗Farmers March 13, 2020 (10:54 pm)

    This is so disappointing. And I agree! If I can go to the grocery store, why not a Farmer’s Market. I will be contacting the Mayor’s office about this decision. 

  • ann March 14, 2020 (5:08 am)

    Madness.  If you leave people without food, consequences would be much worse than coronavirus. 

  • Ann March 14, 2020 (5:18 am)

    When 50 people succumb to the virus, you don’t jeopardize lives and health of 360,000,950 by limiting accesses to food. Grocery stores won’t be able to feed all when  extra people who were “eating” off markers, restaurants etc.  join grocery stores crowds. Choose your sacrifices wisely.  

  • Mj March 14, 2020 (7:19 am)

    Grocery Stores open Farmers Markets closed ???????????????????????? 

  • anonyme March 14, 2020 (8:17 am)

    Seems like a farmer’s market would be much safer than a supermarket, as it’s in the open air and not an enclosed space.  I’m in self-quarantine and super-paranoid, but not convinced this particular action is necessary.  

  • M.B. March 14, 2020 (8:38 am)

    Those saying “I go to a grocery store, why not the farmer’s market” really need to think closely about the differences. At a grocery store most people go in, get what they want, and get out while talking to as few people as possible. The aisles are fairly wide and most people have a cart that distances them from others. The farmers market encourages a whole different way of shopping. People stroll. People linger and chat. People are crammed close together, picking up and examining things then putting them back after asking questions of the sellers. Many stalls have gally style or u-shaped table setups that pinch customers together into near claustrophobic quarters. And trust me, if you’re seated with your face just feet from someone’s backside, you tend to notice how much closer together people are as they push around your mobility device.

    • Jethro Marx March 14, 2020 (12:28 pm)

      One, it sounds like it’s not right for you. Two, the things you bring up could be addressed with some simple changes.  Three, it is such an insult to farmers and other business owners who make their living at the markets for our society to tell them they are an unnecessary novelty and that we’d rather buy produce shipped in and handled by a dozen people before we buy it because it’s “safer.”

      • LK March 15, 2020 (7:56 am)

        You’re perfectly, perfectly spot on.

  • NB March 14, 2020 (6:53 pm)

    Some vendors will be coming anyway and parking at the curb. I have heard from SnoValley Mushrooms and Olsen’s Meats/Potatoes. It’s likely others will show as well. Please come and support our farmers!

  • Dave March 15, 2020 (3:47 pm)

    I ordered from Olsens last night (by email) they answered and said I could pick up my order at the curb. Showed up at 930 this morning they had it all bagged and ready to go.Lets support our small farmers who make the market what it is

  • Mary March 15, 2020 (4:58 pm)

    I’ve just written the mayor to ask her to reconsider the decision to close the market because my experience of the farmers market in West Seattle differs significantly from that of M.B.  Specifically:*What I get at the farmers market has likely been handled by far fewer
    people. ( M.B., that produce at QFC has been fondled by plenty of shoppers before you as well as the workers in the produce department, the back of the store, the trucking company, the sorters, the pickers, and god knows who else )*I buy what I need without standing in long checkout lines *No  cart or holding a  basket that has been handled by
    hundreds of people before me. *An open air market means I’m not breathing
    in recycled air.If you rely, as I do, on our farmers market for healthy, local, organic groceries, please consider contacting the mayor, maybe with a cc to Lisa Herbold. Email addresses:  jenny.durkan@seattle.gov and Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov

Sorry, comment time is over.