PHOTOS: First West Seattle Farmers’ Market in two months

11:07 AM: That’s the view on the western approach to the entrance of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, open – in a highly modified format – until 2 pm, first one in almost two months. The entrance is at California/Alaska, and the booths line the usual block north to Oregon from there.

Be sure to wear your mask – both sellers and shoppers have their faces covered. The booths are lining each side of the street, plenty of space to walk inbetween.

We were there less than half an hour ago; the nearest Junction parking lots still had many spaces – very different from a pre-pandemic market day. (One thing we didn’t see – the line, which commenter Elton advises to approach from the east side, via 42nd.)

Before you go, be sure to read about the modifications and policies (here’s the original reopening announcement we published last Wednesday).

Here’s the list of vendors. No prepared food for consumption on site – this is very no-nonsense, get what you came for, keep moving, exit at California/Oregon. A little humor seen along the way at one booth:

March 8th was the last WSFM before today; days later, Mayor Durkan ordered the markets closed as “permitted events” even though days after that, Gov. Inslee’s stay-home order labeled them “essential.” Many discussions with the city followed; two weeks ago, permission was granted for the U-District and Ballard markets to open, and then today, West Seattle.

11:53 AM: Just went back for a drive-by check of the line; see photo above – it stretches, distanced, along SW Alaska, ending just short of 42nd.

24 Replies to "PHOTOS: First West Seattle Farmers' Market in two months"

  • Diablo Oso May 3, 2020 (12:33 pm)

    Thank you vendors for coming out! Great food all around. Thank you farmers market “management” for opening up again. Inside was pretty good, but *LOTS* of people violated the one-way rule. Line outside was long – past QFC – and spacing of lines for people was tight – more like 4.5’ than 6’. Please consider a handicapped or elderly line 

    • heartless May 3, 2020 (1:51 pm)

      I was pleased how many people were wearing masks–a much higher percent than I’ve seen at Safeway and PCC lately.

    • Shopper May 3, 2020 (3:58 pm)

      I agree, great to have the market back but a few tweaks next week would help. I asked about all of the folks not observing the one-way directions, and a market employee said that not everyone saw the signs. True, but the “bouncer” letting us in could have mentioned that to everyone at the start, and the market employees could have reminded those who turned around and strolled back the “wrong” way.  No one was monitoring that. I was pleased with how quickly the line moved, and happy to have them back overall. I don’t want to have this taken back away from us!

    • Sue H May 3, 2020 (4:36 pm)

      Agree about needing a line to let the handicapped in sooner. When I got there and saw the line was more than a block long, and people were not waiting six feet apart, I ended up going home. Part of it was due to how long the wait might be, and part of it was if they can’t stay six feet apart while standing on a line, what kind of chaos might have been in the market itself. I’ll try again another time. I am glad for the market vendors that there was so much interest.

  • Elton May 3, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    Good to hear that the line wasn’t necessary after it opened. It was about a 20 min wait at 11am

  • Yma May 3, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    I bought things I did not need. All the folks in line were wonderful. I greatly missed the flowers & the pickles. I came back home & cried.Stay safe, people. 

    • TWST May 3, 2020 (6:17 pm)

      Aw, what a sweet comment. Thanks for sharing Yma.
      Was Samish cheese there?  Love their cheese!

      • heartless May 3, 2020 (6:42 pm)

        Yep, Samish was there.  And I agree, about YMA–stay well, everyone.

        • TWST May 3, 2020 (6:56 pm)

          :) nice, you stay well too

      • Ym May 3, 2020 (7:13 pm)

        Yes! One of the things I got was cheese! ( cheese, Grommit) 

        • Wallace May 4, 2020 (2:13 pm)

          Don’t forget the crackers!!

  • Sarah May 3, 2020 (5:33 pm)

    The one-way rule is so that market staff can keep an accurate count of who is in the market. When someone leaves at the exit, the staff radios to the entrance to allow another person in. It’s a suggestion not mandatory, which is why it wasn’t heavily enforced. The line outside the market had chalk marks measured exactly 6 ft apart. I saw market staff out there early with a measuring tape! It’s unfortunate that people still need to be reminded about the seriousness of spacing even when there are Xs on the ground to help people stay 6 feet apart. After opening bell, the line was a block long at most and was about a 10 minute wait. It seems long, but that’s because everyone is spaced 6ft apart. We waited six weeks for this market – what’s another 10 minutes? Excited for next Sunday! Hopefully the city grants the street closure permits once again. So thankful for our farmers and fertile soil! 

    • Shopper May 3, 2020 (8:56 pm)

      Thanks for the explanation about the one-way rule, that makes sense as to why there wasn’t enforcement. I was hoping part of the intention was similar to the one-way aisles in grocery stores, to give more opportunities to stay 6 feet away from each other. Perhaps a large “Exit” sign at the end of the street would be another visual reminder?I did find the entrance line moved quickly. But I agree with another commenter that the spacing in the entrance line wasn’t giving us each 6 feet between each other. The chalk lines themselves were 6 feet apart, but when you add a person standing on each one (say, a foot to a foot-and-a-half wide person), that reduces the space between us to 4.5 to 5 feet. Maybe next week, measure the 6 feet, then draw a box large enough for someone to stand in, and measure 6 feet from that to the next box?Looking forward to more yummy freshness and supporting our local farmers in the weeks to come!

  • Lamont Jenkins May 3, 2020 (7:00 pm)

    I love the diversity in fabulous west Seattle.  I live near west wood for Economic reasons and i always appreciate how welcoming The vendors and people who live in the Junction area are towards me.  today was no exception. it was a wonderful day.  people were  very kind and the love was everywhere.. 

    • KL May 3, 2020 (7:43 pm)

       this was heart expanding to read, Lamont. 🙏

  • Fanny Farmer May 3, 2020 (7:34 pm)

    The Seattle Times reports 969 people attended the WS Farmer’s Market today. A dog on a leash is seen in one of the pictures.

    • Anne May 3, 2020 (10:17 pm)

      Just watched video on news taken at WS Farmers Mkt. showed guy with dog-no vest on dog that identified it was service dog-which I thought was one of the criteria. Not surprising that there are still those  who feel rules don’t apply to them.  On the positive side-every person they showed was wearing a mask!

  • KC May 3, 2020 (7:34 pm)

    I was a one-way violator!  Not proud of it at all but I couldn’t figure out how to know what vendors were selling ahead of me. I had hoped to get some more organic vegetables and other things and I wanted to know what everyone was selling before I made a choice. Not sure if there is a pre-published map somewhere of who sells what so that we could obey the one-way rule more?  Or is everyone always in the same spot so you just learn where your fave places are over time?So happy to go to the market today! I also bought things I didn’t need but was really appreciative that the farmers came all the way to WS even after they closed off the bridge and everything else is also hard.  I hope they were able to make some good sales today.

    • AJ May 4, 2020 (1:47 pm)

      I agree, KC. I don’t think the one-way guideline can really be enforced. I like to know what all of my options are before purchasing. Also, it seems a bit unfair to the vendors toward the end of the market, if shoppers feel like they should buy from the first vendor they see or risk not getting something they wanted. 

    • Curate May 6, 2020 (12:54 am)

      How do people stay 6 feet apart when paying? And I was surprised to see a photo of someone using cash in a photograph on the Seattle Times site. The customer was waiting for change from one of the vendors. The vendor had cash in one of his gloved hands. Do they change their gloves in between handling cash and handling produce?

  • Michael May 3, 2020 (8:52 pm)

    If other markets opened earlier why did it take longer for WS?

    • Elton May 3, 2020 (11:02 pm)

      My guess: trying to work out kinks? I also wonder if ours typically gets busier than some of the others.I think people made a better faith effort to social distance at the farmers market than at some of our grocery stores. I was sad that there was no pickup line though – while walking through the market is fun, I can’t practically spend so much time every Sunday shopping there and would prefer a quick way to pick up pre ordered food and get out – I thought this was an option in ballard? 

  • K May 3, 2020 (9:44 pm)

    So glad to have the market open again, and everyone was so friendly and happy to be there! For the short time I was there, I was impressed with huge majority of people  wearing face masks and keeping distance. Gosh I feel so bad I had no idea there was a one-way system! Perhaps I should have been looking out for more signs, but my focus was on the vendors. As someone who uses EBT, I had to go to the info tent first to get my tokens and market bucks which was over half way into the market. Once I got that, then had to backtrack so I could to start shopping at the front. If one-way becomes more heavily enforced, will need to consider this. I hope the farmers were able to sell most of their produce today and that it was a success for all!

  • DanO May 4, 2020 (8:38 am)

    I was so happy to hear that the market was going to open, and so sad I couldn’t make it! I’d just like to comment on the 1-way rule: I’m an EBT user so I need to visit that booth first, and then I have to look around to see what’s available before I buy. So I’ll either need to violate the rule or simply not go to the market until it’s lifted.  I understand the reasoning but wonder if there’s another way? In any case, many thanks to all of you who make this market possible! 

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