The crisp mornings of meeting up with friends over coffee and chatting up vendors at the farmers market while leisurely handpicking the best produce have been postponed. Instead, shoppers at the Santa Monica Farmers Market are now greeted by workers theatrically screeching instructions to follow the chalked arrows on the ground that have been meticulously measured out to six feet to enforce social distancing.
Signs alerting shoppers to queue up six feet from one another to shop and how to cough line the decorate stalls. The vendor that weighs your fruit cannot take your money; now there’s a separate line for that. Farmers’ advice on how to prepare those fava beans has been replaced with, “You touch it, you buy it.”
Like everyone, farmers markets are coping with COVID-19. Some like the Culver City market have chosen to shut down, while others like Santa Monica and Mar Vista continue to serve the community. But bring your patience along with those re-usable bags.
Many farmers are offering pre-orders and special packages that can help provide social distancing without the stress.
Underwood Family Farms is offering a Healthy Harvest Box, in addition to fruit and vegetable Harvest Baskets for pickup, local delivery and FedEx overnight delivery.
The popular Peads and Barnetts is getting set up to deliver their heritage pork products direct to home or office. “No need to resort to unhealthy food in times like this, we will keep you supplied with the best stuff! If you would like to place an order, please send us an email or DM with what you would like, your address and contact info. We’ll invoice you so you can pay with credit card or Venmo. Easy, safe, no stress. And if you don’t feel like cooking, then please order delivery from our restaurant friends, they too need all the support they can get at the moment. We’re all in this together!”
Tamai Family Farms, which supply the majority of L.A. restaurants with the strawberries, tomatoes and other produce, is taking pre-orders on their social media for the Santa Monica market that can be picked up day of. All they need is name, items, location and approximate pickup time.
Edible Gardens LA FARM has partnered with @schanerfarmstand and @weiserfamilyfarms to bring food to your door. Delivery includes potatoes from @weiserfamilyfarms, avocados, oranges and lemons from @schanerfarmstand, mustard and salad greens and radishes from @ediblegardensla. Email for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click through the slideshow at the top for scenes from today’s Santa Monica Farmers Market.