Despite most being outdoors, various farmer’s markets across L.A have been forced to shut down since the pandemic of 2020 started. But last month, the Beverly Hills Farmers Market, along with several others, reopened after closing on March 15.
The Beverly Hills Farmers Market, like many other facilities, has incorporated methods to protect against the virus and maintain social distancing among the customers. All products are now handled only by the vendors and farmers, who are required to wear masks and gloves at all times. Produce, such as potatoes, are weighed on a scale for shoppers to see rather than handling them directly. “We try to keep it as safe as possible,” says Maryanne, a local vendor at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. “It’s our priority, both for the customers and ourselves.” She adds that only one person per family is allowed in at a time to help reduce crowds and maintain social distance.
Additionally, early shopping hours are offered from 8 to 9 a.m. for seniors and high-risk customers. Currently, popular services that were provided in the past, such as petting zoos, food trucks, and live music, are not offered due to the risk they present. “I miss it,” says Brian Lee, a local student and fan of the farmers market. “I enjoyed going to see the animals and trying new food every week, but I’m still glad they reopened.” Although the Beverly Hills Farmers Market has not restored all their past events and services, it continues to be a great place to buy your fresh food products.
Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers by circulating money throughout the neighborhood. While supermarkets have remained busy since the shutdown, as they were classified as essential, many farmers market vendors were forced to close their stands for months. It is beneficial for the individual farmers and your local economy to buy your groceries from a farmers market. Liam, a local farmer, emphasizes the importance of people coming to support local businesses as well as farmers during this time. “It was hard for all of us,” he admits, “and I just hope more people will begin to visit us again- we need the support.”
In addition, shoppers can enjoy farm fresh and seasonal products at a lower price than supermarkets. Compared to conventional grocery stores that charge extra for organic and chemical-free produce, farmers markets are often cheaper and more nutritious, being grown locally. Although the pandemic has changed the structure of the markets from becoming a place to gather and socialize, the farmers market remains an excellent option to shop for groceries.
Some popular locations for farmers markets around LA include the Los Angeles Farmers Market. Located next to the Grove; this historic site has been operating for almost 80 years now. Nearby, the Beverly Hills Farmers Market and the Century City Farmers market has reopened as well to attract customers as it once did.