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Carlsbad Farmers Market
The Carlsbad Farmer's Market re-opened May 6 with new guidelines in coordination with the county's public health orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo
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Carlsbad farmers market returns with new guidelines

CARLSBAD — After weeks of being off the street due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular State Street Farmers Market in Carlsbad Village returned on May 6 with new health guidelines.

The market, which is operated by the Carlsbad Village Association, had 891 people attend, although the event scaled down its vendors to abide by state and county health orders, according to Christine Davis, executive director of the CVA. The market is open each Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m.

The market has been operating for the past 26 years, but had gone dark for the past seven weeks, the longest hiatus in its history, due to the pandemic, she added.

“We did that in collaboration with the city,” Davis said. “We wanted to do our part and not tax their resources. For a variety of different reasons, we decided it best to stay closed through the entire public health order that was going through the end of April.”

On May 13, the market expanded its vendor list, although new rules and guidelines are in place to ensure compliance with the state and county health orders. Those include vendors who rope off their entrances and are at least six feet away from each other.

Carlsbad Farmer's Market
The Carlsbad Farmer’s Market re-opened May 6 with 20 vendors and 891 customers. Courtesy photo

In addition, customers must point to the food they want and the vendor will then bag the items and place them on a table. No sampling is allowed. Also, all vendors and patrons must wear facemasks, while vendors must also wear gloves, Davis said.

Hand washing stations are also placed throughout the market, which is located on State Street between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue. The only animals allowed are certified service pets, Davis said.

“The biggest challenge we’ve had is not having all of our vendors there because of needing to open up space between vendors,” she explained. “We are concentrating on the certified growers.”

The seven added vendors for the May 13 market are “high nutritional” sellers with products not traditionally found in a grocery store, Davis said. The May 6 event had 20 vendors. Carlsbad police patrol the market to ensure patrons and vendors are following the county health orders, which include physical distancing, facemasks and the new guidelines regarding vendors.

“I was nervous that the public would not find it easy to social distance, but with the new layout it’s so simple,” Davis said. “It’s much safer, in my opinion, than a grocery store where you’re much closer to other people. It went better and more smoothly than anticipated. It was a huge relief.”

Also, she said the market is asking the public to shop and then return home in concert with the stay-at-home order. Davis said there is no congregating or live music and the new market is a model of an outdoor grocery store.

7 comments

liz May 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm

I am so disgusted by the excessive red tape , I will no longer participate. You sell it like it’s a good thing. The good thing about farmers markets were the organic feeling. That means dogs, music, interaction all part of the human condition.

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Jacqueline May 12, 2020 at 9:38 pm

No thanks. I love shopping at the local farmers markets but ,
This is just sad. When did America become China?
I can’t go to the beach without cops harassing people. Can’t enjoy a farmers market because people are afraid to go near each other and cops watching your every move.
I’ll wait and hope governor egomaniac does not ruin California further & that America becomes great again.
I feel oppressed like I live in China.

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Good neighbor May 12, 2020 at 10:14 pm

So you feel inclined to promote boycotting innocent local workers because you’re privileged and feel entitled. GTK. Thank you for sharing.

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Lowell May 13, 2020 at 10:40 am

People are not afraid to go near each other (at least not the ones I know like my friends and neighbors). We CARE about each other enough to stay away from each other because the thought that we might make someone else sick bothers us. Obviously some people don’t care about anyone other than themselves. So if people like Jacqueline stay home, that’s fine with me. I’d rather they do so than go out and share their ignorance (and possibly germs) with those of us who understand what it means to live in a civil society.

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Keith May 13, 2020 at 10:53 am

We’re all soooo privileged to be screwed by our medical establishment and policed by our ignorant (and therefore innocent??) fellow citizens. Thank you too, Good Neighbor.

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Good neighbor May 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Actually Keith, had wrote ‘workers’ whom, as we all know, must abide by policy whether it be government or employer mandated, as they are the ones who would ultimately suffer from boycotts. Workers don’t make the rules, have nothing to do with medical establishment nor policing as per your retort, yet if they choose to not comply with policies they loose their job- thus, ‘innocent’. Original comment wasn’t skewed to any political or otherwise opinion. In my opinion, all workers have the right to a safe work environment. In my opinion, during this unprecedented time, would be nice to support our local community workers and businesses with a positive perspective vs toss political blame at situations beyond their control. No, I don’t work at the market nor own a business there, just felt compelled log in for perspective. Jacqueline is displeased, feeling angst with disregard for others because she can’t enjoy the beach or farmer’s market for a few months whilst others just hope their loved ones don’t end up suffering and losing their lives.

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Tom Applegate May 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Way overboard and City officials are making it up as we go along. The use of a face mask cancels the need to maintain six feet distancing. Time to relax and trust growers and customers to make the right decisions. What is the goal here; no new Covid cases? Well that ain’t gonna happen, let businesses open up without punitive guidelines. If you are not comfortable, old or your health is compromised, please stay home.

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