The Ballard Farmers Market will reopen this Sunday, April 19th as a walk-up and drive-thru market.
The City of Seattle suspended farmers markets around the city in mid-March, and since the closure, the Seattle Farmers Market Association (SFMA) has been working with local government leaders such as Councilman Dan Strauss to reopen.
“The safety and health of our shoppers, farmers, and staff is SFMA’s primary concern as we reopen the Ballard Farmers Market,” SFMA writes in a statement about the opening.
To that end, the Ballard Farmers Market will reopen as a drive-thru market. Customers on foot will still be allowed to walk up and purchase products, but the SFMA is encouraging people to pre-order and use the drive-thru option as much as possible.
The reopening comes with strict health and safety sanitization measures, which will mean a few changes:
- No sampling, no selling ready-to-eat food, no refilling reusable containers
- Public is banned from touching produce—vendors to select and bag product
- Encouraging pre-paid orders
- Contact-free payment methods (i.e. Apple Pay, Venmo)
- Limiting the number of shoppers in the market at one time
- Segregation of money/market currency and food handling
- All vendors and staff must wear protective gloves and ensure regular and proper hand-washing
- Increasing distance between vendor booths
- Social distancing markers on the pavement for lines
- Increased safety signage
In addition, the SFMA staff will be there to conduct regular and ongoing checks of hand-washing stations and sanitizing supplies.
SFMA asks that shoppers be alert to major modifications at the market—signs will be posted to help with that. They ask that shoppers observe physical cues for distancing, including tape, chalk, and signs set up at each booth.
“While farmers markets are often social spaces, it is important not to confuse this as the primary purpose,” the SFMA writes. “Our commitment to farm and food-only markets that support Washington’s small family farms and ensuring food access for all. We believe that open-air markets with transparent and short supply chains can be the safest and best way to obtain food during this crisis. “
To pre-order goods, visit this spreadsheet for a full list of vendors that will be selling at the market.