skip to main content
Coronavirus In Seattle
caption: Mary Purdy buys produce at the Sunday Farmers Market in Ballard from Foothills Farm's Matt Steinman.
Enlarge Icon
Mary Purdy buys produce at the Sunday Farmers Market in Ballard from Foothills Farm's Matt Steinman.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Local farmers, customers show up at closed markets during coronavirus outbreak

The Ballard Farmers Market was closed Sunday, to minimize risk of exposure to the coronavirus. But some farmers showed up anyway.

Matt Steinman is with Foothills Farm, in Sedro Woolley.

When he learned the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market would be closed, he’d already harvested two thousand dollars worth of produce from his field.

“And honestly, if you’re gonna go buy produce, would you rather go into a really crowded PCC or Costco right now, or would you come into an open air market where everyone’s actually observing social distancing and keeping everyone apart?” Steinman asked.

He said he’d continue to sell produce here on Sundays, even if it means just selling it out of the back of his truck.

To minimize the risk of contamination, Steinman asked permission to forge each customer’s signature with a gloved hand, so no one would have to touch the screen on his iPad.

Mary Purdy showed up to buy produce. She bought something from each of the handful of vendors who showed up today, despite the farmers’ market’s closure.

“I’m here today to support both the community and the farmers and to make a statement to the City of Seattle that we need to be supporting local farmers and that the farmers market should not be shut down,” said Purdy.

Purdy spritzed her hand with sanitizer after each interaction.

A manager for the market was there, at an information booth. He declined to give his name, but said farmers have to make a living.

“I’m not telling them that they can’t,” said the market manager.