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Little Italy Farmer’s Market Gets Green Light to Reopen

The Mercato returns Saturday, March 21

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It’s almost hard to remember what life was like before the dramatic and devastating events of the past week, but one aspect of normalcy is trying to return to the streets of San Diego. The Little Italy Mercato, the neighborhoods weekly Saturday and Wednesday farmer’s markets, are being reactivated to the joy of its vendors and patrons.

Catt Fields-White runs San Diego Markets, which operates the Little Italy markets as well as the Tuesday afternoon market in Pacific Beach; White says she’s been getting distressed calls — from farmers who have fewer alternative avenues to sell their produce since the restaurant shutdown and from worried shoppers, including many with compromised immune systems who rely on the market’s organic, fresh food.

Declared by California Governor Gavin Newsom as an “essential service” in his recent “Stay at Home” statewide order, San Diego area farmer’s markets should start to come back online.

This Saturday’s Mercato in Little Italy will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., stretching three blocks on West Date Street. Gated at each end, the market will be monitoring the number of shoppers inside to maintain proper social distances and instituting shopping guidelines; they’re even employing a reservation system with staggered entry times. With less vendors, the focus will be on fresh produce, which will be pre-packaged and pre-priced.

Check the San Diego County Farm Bureau website and individual market Facebook pages for more updates, as market permits are being reinstated on a case-by-case basis, and consider supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) by buying directly from a local farm.

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