After the city closed them in March, Seattle’s farmers markets slowly started reopening, with significant social distancing and sanitation protocols: Limited entry, mandatory masks, six feet between customers, hand-washing stations, no-touch shopping. You can order online beforehand, to further reduce contact. Some markets, like the one in Ballard, have instituted drive-thru pick up. (See market sites below for specific guidelines.)
This Sunday, Seattle welcomes back another staple: the Capitol Hill Farmers Market.
Still, not everything is open. Sarah Schu, of Neighborhood Farmers Markets (NFM), says not all markets have opened because of restrictions from the county and city, like vendor spacing, a cap on vendors, and a shopper cap (based on the number of vendors). Markets also now need significantly more staff on-site.
Schu notes that NFM is doing advocacy work to (safely) loosen some of these limitations. For instance, several rules do not take into account the size of the market and that the increase in staffing levels does not align with the fact that there are now fewer shoppers than before. Smaller markets also may not be profitable right now. “We’re having to go majorly into our reserves as an organization,” Schu says.
Some markets, says Kelly Kube of the Seattle Farmers Market Association, also may be just awaiting approval, since they have to submit applications to open, then wait to hear back.
For now, here’s what’s open:
Ballard: Open Sundays, 10am–2pm. Drive through option for preorders from 9 to 9:50am. Located at 22nd Avenue NW and NW Market Street.
Capitol Hill: Open Sundays, 11am–3pm. Entrance at West side of Broadway Ave E & East Howell Street.
Columbia City: Open Wednesdays, 3pm–7pm. Entrance at S 35th St & S Edmunds.
Madrona: Open Fridays, 3–7pm. Located on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way & E. Union Street.
Queen Anne: Open Thursdays, 3–7:30pm. Entrance at First Avenue W & W Howe Street.
University District: Open Saturdays, 9am–2pm. Entrance at University Way NE & 52nd Street.
West Seattle: Open Sundays, 10am–2pm. Entrance at California Avenue SW & SW Alaska Street.