REOPENING: West Seattle Farmers’ Market, this Sunday, with new rules

(Photo by Sarah Schu, Neighborhood Farmers Markets, from recent U-District market)

For the first time since March 8th, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will reopen this Sunday – in a modified format, as has been the case with the University District market these past two weekends. Hre’s the announcement we just received:

The Neighborhood Farmers Markets has worked closely with the City of Seattle and Seattle-King County Public Health and other stakeholders and partners in each neighborhood to re-open safe, permitted farmers markets. The West Seattle Farmers Market will re-open on Sunday, May 3, and they are asking West Seattle residents to observe new rules.

Agriculture is the most essential act, and the farmers markets serve as the essential link between farmers and eaters. This weekend, we need you to help protect public health and our community by following new guidelines.

· Please consider taking the Farmers Market Shopper Oath.

· Sign up for the Ripe & Ready Newsletter, which will announce the list of May 3 vendors accepting pre-orders.

Market Modifications Include:

· Modified layouts to ensure 10’ between vendor booths to allow for greater circulation and distance.

· Market entrance at Alaska & California to control the capacity and foot traffic. You can expect a line to enter the market.

· Hand sanitizer will be provided at Market Manager tents, with public hand washing stations available in the market.

· There is no sampling or prepared food until further notice.

· No music, entertainment, cooking demos, or public seating areas.

Staff and Vendor Responsibilities:

All vendors and staff must wear protective facemask and gloves, separate cash and product handling, and ensure regular and proper handwashing.
All vendors will select and serve your produce and products.
Vendors and staff will politely ask you to keep moving so we can serve as many shoppers as possible.
Vendors and Staff will limit the number of shoppers in front of booths at any given time.
Surfaces and ‘high touch’ items such as tables, POS terminals, cash boxes, etc. will be sanitized regularly.
Market staff will be dedicated to conduct regular and ongoing checks for handwashing stations, proper bleach solutions, and sanitizing supplies in addition to our regular food safety controls.

Shopper Expectations:

Before the market:

Make a list.
Designate one shopper per household.
Service dogs are permitted otherwise leave your pets at home.
Bring reusable bags – these are permitted, but you will be the only person touching them.
Check yourself – stay home if you are sick or if you’ve been in contact with someone who is sick.

During your market visit:

Be alert! The market has major modifications and there are new signs to help you move through the market.
Do not touch the products, the vendors will help you.
Maintain 6 feet of space at all times. This is crucial! Look for physical cues like tape, chalk, and signs all around you as a reminder.
Shop quickly and efficiently. This isn’t the time to chat. Big smiles welcome!
Wash hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and face in general.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of it.

It is vital that everyone act in these efforts together to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The safety and health of our shoppers, our farmers, and staff is critical – this is our primary concern. Please do not come out to the farmers market if you cannot observe the new guidelines.

The mayor ordered markets closed in mid-March, though the governor’s subsequent stay-home order decreed them “essential”; the market’s parent organization has been fighting for weeks to get permission to reopen with major modifications. It got clearance to open the U-District market the past two Saturdays.

47 Replies to "REOPENING: West Seattle Farmers' Market, this Sunday, with new rules"

  • Joan April 29, 2020 (12:40 pm)

    Excellent plan for safe operation. Thank you!

  • Plf April 29, 2020 (12:43 pm)

    Any preorder pick up available 

    • Elton April 29, 2020 (11:17 pm)

      I known Olsen is doing pre orders for pick-up. 

      • WSB April 30, 2020 (11:30 am)

        Also note – it’s right in the announcement above – the farmers’ Market newsletter will announce who’s taking pre-orders.

        • Katrina May 1, 2020 (6:20 pm)

          WSB- the “subscribe” link in the Ripe & Ready page isn’t working.

  • LG April 29, 2020 (1:46 pm)

    Yes! I’m okay with the rules and already know what I need from at least a few farmers that I’ve been ordering from. This can make it so much easier. 

  • Quiz April 29, 2020 (2:11 pm)

    This is such good news. Let’s follow the new guidelines and make this a success!

  • Tina Norman April 29, 2020 (2:45 pm)

    I pray everyone adheres to the rules , So many have a gift to gab and some don’t care about rules. I sure hope there will be people there to enforce the ones not abiding to the rules. Praying all goes well they need to sell their goods. I appreciate the farmers and pray for their and others safety.

  • Blbl April 29, 2020 (3:13 pm)

    No thank you. I’ll help by staying far away. 

    • Kk April 29, 2020 (3:57 pm)

      But I’m sure you go to the grocery store 

  • dhg April 29, 2020 (3:31 pm)

    I totally support the caution, we do what we have to do to keep safe, but I have to wonder why the rules are so strict for an outdoor market when grocery stores are not at all compliant with these rules.  Are grocery stores unsafe?  We are allowed to enter a grocery store with our partner, we are allowed to stand at one spot without anyone telling us to move along.  We are allowed to chat with the clerk. The products are on display and we help ourselves at the grocery stores.  The double standards are glaring.    

    • JAP April 29, 2020 (5:06 pm)

      Well put. I am glad that the market will be open and I’ve been doing my best to support our local farmers via other routes during this time, but this does not sound like a pleasant shopping experience at all (which defeats the whole point of going to an open air market, in my opinion – and I LOVE ours). However, I wish the shoppers and vendors well in this initial experiment. Hopefully people will have a little grace with one another as they try to navigate it vs. shaming each other, which is so prominent already on Nextdoor. 

      • Robert Dlugosh April 30, 2020 (10:52 am)

        I primarily go to our farmers market to purchase tasty fresh organic produce. The  experience is secondary. It is not pleasant shopping at grocery stores anymore either. Also I think it is important to support the farmers who must be suffering financially at this point.

    • John April 29, 2020 (6:33 pm)

      Grocery stores have far less dogs, whole families and groups casually congregating or out  for a Sunday stroll than at the farmers market.   

    • FarmerStina April 29, 2020 (8:14 pm)

      Oh, we know it’s a massive double-standard. And, we (the farmers) are desperate to get these markets reopened. None of us qualified for the original EIDL loans, the USDA has offered us nothing, and the PPP program was a disaster. So, we are all cash strapped and needing to sell produce so we don’t have to watch it rot in the ground…

      • CATS April 30, 2020 (10:05 am)

        If you have organics you need to sell, contact PCC Community Markets, as they just designated a significant fund to purchase produce from farmer’s market farms!

        • FarmerStina April 30, 2020 (5:28 pm)

          PCC only purchases produce from Charlies, a major produce distributor.  Charlies requires that the farms adhere to strict federal regulations that small farms aren’t required to follow (need to cure insomnia?  Read GAPS standards), and their wholesale rate is abysmally low in comparison to what a farmer makes selling at a farmers market.  It’s a feel-good PR gesture from PCC that won’t actually help any of the smallest farms at the markets.-Captain Doom and Gloom

    • newnative April 30, 2020 (4:23 pm)

      Just because you’re socializing at the grocery store doesn’t make it right in these times. Shopping is an essential activity and we treat it as one. I go in by myself, I get my stuff and I get out. I will treat the farmers market the same way. 

    • Elisa May 2, 2020 (10:59 am)

      I don’t think grocery stores are safe at all and they SHOULD have these types of guidelines. We avoid grocery stores as much as possible and only go very late or very early to avoid other people. These rules should absolutely apply to grocery stores, too.

  • Apey April 29, 2020 (5:02 pm)

    Shopping has become so stressful! I’m so happy I subscribe to a produce delivery service. 

  • Mary April 29, 2020 (5:05 pm)

    Hurrah!!! Yes, there are things one might find less than ideal, but the idea is to keep the market safe and healthy and viable in troubling times. I wish I could hug all my favorite vendors and spend an hour with each catching up, but I understand why I can’t. I’ll get in, get my fresh veg and cheese, and get out fast. No one gets hurt (unless they get between me and my pre-ordered cheese. THEN there’s going to be trouble).

  • flimflam April 29, 2020 (5:12 pm)

    no dogs or giant strollers??? sounds heavenly!

  • Sandra April 29, 2020 (5:18 pm)

    Let’s support our farmers!

  • Jkk April 29, 2020 (5:59 pm)

    So the vendors are supposed to wear PPE.  Ok so are they going to change masks and gloves every time they “service” a customer.   Since they are the only ones that will be picking your produce and then touching payment processes.  Then on to the next person.  So change gloves and masks every time a new person comes forward to buy something. ?   This makes no sense.  If someone or someone’s family from the farmers market vendors had this disease or was dying from it.  They would vote against trying to sell their stuff in an unsafe way.   Grocery stores have incentives for workers that don’t feel well or may need to stay home to not pass on something if they have it.   Farmers markets have no such incentive.   Their incentive is to sell.  Death or not.  I understand we all need to come out of the house and be careful and wear masks and do the best we can to respect distance as there should be slow openings (turning the dial instead of flipping the switch).   But this is like a stewpot for disease waiting to be passed quickly.   Gatherings are NOT a good idea.  This is another reason why restaurants are still not open for sit down business.  Even if tables are further apart.   These vendors at the market should be ashamed of themselves.  

    • Suzanne April 30, 2020 (3:57 am)

      JKK: Everything you accuse the farmers of is completely false. Your lack of respect for these hardworking people who GROW OUR FOOD is shameful.  

    • Patrick Wirth April 30, 2020 (7:52 am)

      “These vendors at the market should be ashamed of themselves.”?? Yes, they ought to go back to their fields and till their produce and profits into the soil. I mean c’mon! They got their $1200.00. That ought to pay their mortgage, their bills and whatever else…Don’t be a d–k JKK!

    • FarmerStina April 30, 2020 (5:48 pm)

      These are the new KC Public Health guidelines for all farmers markets.  No grocery store in Seattle is doing half of these:REQUIRED•Handwash Station•Proper handwashing, no less than every 30 minutes•6 feet of distance between you & customer•Capacity sign: 1 Household at a time •Protective gloves and separate cash and product handling, ie new gloves for each transaction•Sanitizing surfaces every 15 minutes using bleach solution•Except for produce, all food and bakery items must be pre-packaged

      OK / ENCOURAGEDPersonal face masks (strongly encouraged)•Rope, ribbon or sign to prevent shoppers from selecting product•Pre-paid orders•Pre-packed boxes in a variety of sizes for efficient shopping•Hand sanitizer (not a replacement for handwashing)•Signage with “menu” of produce available and prices•Signage to assist speedy, informed shopping

    • Kat May 1, 2020 (6:26 pm)

      normal masks people are wearing protect other people from the wearer. There’s absolutely no reason that a farmer at a market should have to change their mask between customers.\

  • Tamara April 29, 2020 (6:22 pm)

    I see so many customers not wearing masks inside grocery store.  Whatever… Wear one!  Its respectful to all!

  • Matt P April 29, 2020 (10:07 pm)

    For those who will be going, please note that when you wear your mask, it’s not effective if it’s not covering both your mouth and your nose.  Please wear it properly for those around you.

  • anonyme April 30, 2020 (9:34 am)

    I’d like the customers to be wearing masks as well.  I’m far more worried about their behavior than I am the vendors.  Also hoping that some patience will be shown toward those of us who cannot physically move at lightning speed- although not having to dodge strollers will help a lot.

  • K April 30, 2020 (9:48 am)

    WSB – Will the EBT/SNAP market match program still be available?

    • FarmerStina April 30, 2020 (5:50 pm)

      EBT match will be available, although they just launched a new Farm Buck to replace the old Fresh Bucks. Farm Bucks cover more farm products.  Also, those vouchers you can get in the mail will also be accepted. Just like before!

      • K April 30, 2020 (9:56 pm)

        Awesome thank you!

  • 🙄 April 30, 2020 (3:15 pm)

    Finally!! Took them long enough to get this rolling. Thanks for posting WSB! 

    • FarmerStina April 30, 2020 (5:52 pm)

      The hold up for the last month has been the Office of the Mayor.  Seriously!  We were ready to reopen, and KC Public Health had signed off on opening the markets in early April and The Mayor unilaterally canceled them, and then only allowed U-District and Ballard to open for two weeks. 

  • REBEKAH LASALA May 1, 2020 (2:58 am)

    It is frankly sad, tragic, offensive and angering to see so many people complaining with comments like “about time already” or complaining about the “strict” rules.Well guess what? I have two immune conditions and if I get Coronavirus it could kill me.  I have been mostly inside for two months, but when I do go outside, I have my Disinfectant spray, gloves, double face mask and antibacterial gel and I have wanted to go for walks here in West Seattle, but even going across the street…I cannot walk b/c people wander around with no masks, in groups, congregating…I have seen it in Alki and have tons of pictures, here on Delridge and many other places and frankly it is disgusting and upsetting. I drove to Carkeek Park today and I had to dodge people all day…again nobody was wearing masks.  So fricking sad, and terrifying for me and I have nightmares about it. I have only ventured out bravely a few times…and each time I have had inconsiderate people harass me when I tell them to stay six feet apart from me…It happened at Bartell’s in West Seattle where a man refused to stay six feet away from me when I compassionately explained I have two immune conditions.  It happened at PCC when the employees laughed at me when I told them that and refused to do it.  I could go on and on.  Frankly, you all need to be grateful you feel free enough to go outside.  I would LOVE to go to the Farmer’s Market, but I am terrified about what people will do.  And it is angering, upsetting and traumatizing.The coldness and compassionlessness of people is disgusting.

    • kram May 3, 2020 (7:49 am)

      Excuse my ignorance but what did you do before Covid 19? I’m assuming there are hundreds of viruses you could get that could kill or hospitalized you right? It should be fantasticly safer for you now I would think.Masks are not required, only strongly recommend. Seeing someone in public without a mask isn’t breaking any rules.

    • Kram May 3, 2020 (8:08 am)

      Excuse my ignorance but isn’t Covid-19 just one of countless virus that could hospitalize or kill you? I would think the current times make this the safest it’s ever been for you. What about the flu? Masks are not required in public.

    • Lynn May 3, 2020 (9:32 am)

      I’m so sorry. People are dumb and lack empathy and compassion. Sending you kind thoughts and hope you stay safe and healthy.

  • valerie May 3, 2020 (7:53 am)

    I’m seeing conflicting information if the market is open; on the home page it says it’s open today but in the events calendar is says the market it cancelled. Is it open or closed today?

    • WSB May 3, 2020 (9:59 am)

      Tes, it’s open; we’ve published that three times since the original announcement Wed. W
      On our way now for photos.

      • WSB May 3, 2020 (10:33 am)

        On our way back now. Most definitely open and very tightly controllec.

  • JLF May 3, 2020 (9:00 am)

    Glad the market is coming back!  And appreciating  the humor here:  “Big smiles welcome!” Followed by  “Wear a face mask.”What?!?!  Ha ha! ;)  #Stop the madness!

  • run_dmc May 3, 2020 (10:52 am)

    I don’t get the masks thing.  They are still studying whether masks actually help prevent the spread of viruses – any of them including the coronaviruses that cause the “common” cold.  A new South Korean study found even surgical masks are not particularly effective and that with homemade masks, oddly, sick people wearing them had the virus on the outside of the mask, but not the inside.  (Although potentially indicating that, after a sneeze or just breathing, the virus was projected through the mask and then some stuck on the outside of the mask).  Essentially, researchers are saying that it can’t hurt to wear a mask, but particularly if they are homemade, it doesn’t help either.

  • anonyme May 3, 2020 (11:10 am)

    FYI, the Farmer’s Market voucher program is on hold for 2020.  My guess is that the bonus dollars that went out to EBT recipients compensated for the voucher.  The only problem is that you can’t use either one if you can’t get to the market.  I’d like to suggest that the market provides a senior shopping hour just like the grocery stores.  I hear the line is around the block this morning, which is not doable for many seniors, pandemic or not.

    • WSB May 3, 2020 (11:42 am)

      We just went back to check. Not “around the block.” Ends at 42nd/Alaska. And it’s a distanced line. But yes, there’s a wait. No way to avoid that in this kind of operation.

Sorry, comment time is over.