Leslie Robson | 13th Street
|The Farmers Market
in 2011 before social distancing.
Photo Art Olson.
The City of Del Mar responded rapidly to the coronavirus pandemic, closing all city properties, including City Hall, beaches, parks, among others. One of the casualties of the closure of the Civic Center was the Del Mar Farmers Market. March 14 was the last market, back when less than 250 people could convene in one place. It seems so long ago.
The State of California, along with San Diego County, has deemed farmers markets essential businesses and has established specific safety rules for farmers and customers. The rules encompass limiting the numbers of people, hygiene and sanitation, spacing of vendors and social distancing of customers, just to list a few.
A few San Diego County farmers markets have remained open throughout the last month, due to variations in local jurisdiction, including Vista, Rancho Santa Fe, Coronado, and one of the two Pacific Beach markets. Several farmers markets closed for a few weeks and have now reopened, including Poway, Little Italy, La Jolla, Santee, Sikes Adobe and Hillcrest. One owner of a handful of farmers markets has pulled the plug on traditional venues and has gone to a hybrid online/drive through model. Five markets have been squeezed down to two locations with very strict management of customers in cars.
The Del Mar Farmers Market, if and when it is given the green light by the city, will have to operate under these same new rules to thoughtfully serve the needs of our community. The rules for social distancing and limiting gatherings may have a dampening effect, with farmers and vendors grappling with decreased income. They may experience lower volume sales while the public figures out if they are willing to support the traditional farmers market model.
Meanwhile, as the vendors of the Del Mar Farmers Market have been adapting to the new realities, some are making preordered deliveries to Del Mar customers. They remain hopeful and bring picked-this-morning fresh produce and freshly baked goods. To access the latest vendor information, you are invited to subscribe to the weekly E-blast on the homepage of delmarfarmersmarket.org/. Please consider supporting these hardworking, struggling small businesses during this challenging time by contacting them and ordering a delivery.