Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market Update: some vendors have set up, so get your gas mask if you go down there, today!
Lucia’s Pizza’s made a public relations splash telling Oakland and Berkeley folks their new food truck will be at the Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market this morning. Well, forget that, and you can thank the smoke from The Camp Fire.
Thanks to a letter issued by Ken Katz on Splashpad News and reposted on a listserv by Francesca Austin, then sent over to this blogger as a tip by a reader, the Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market will not open. In fact, The Agricultural Institute of Marin is cancelling all six of its farmers markets for this weekend, November 17th-18th.
Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market Closed: Andy Naja-Riese Statement
Agricultural Institute of Marin CEO Andy Naja-Riese issued this statement:
“This time is troubling for everyone, and our hearts go out to all the families affected by the Camp Fire. The air quality in the Bay Area is currently rated as the worst in the world right now and the forecast is not showing any improvements over this weekend. The safety and health of my staff and community are priority to me. I deeply care about our Market Managers and more than 350 Market Participants who comprise our community and can’t in good conscience support an outdoor activity that will put people’s health in jeopardy. Nearly all of my staff and many of our producers are still sick from last weekend’s markets. We toughed it on Thursday, but the air is even worse. Some of our farmers and food purveyors cancelled the markets this weekend, while many others have called to ask for a status for their markets.
I have been agonizing over this, poring over the air quality forecasts, and getting input from our multiple stakeholders, including our Executive Committee of AIM’s Board of Directors. I have made a very difficult decision to cancel our six Markets this weekend. That means, we will not host our markets at Grand Lake or Hayward tomorrow, as well our Markets on Sunday in Marin, Newark, Clement St., and Stonestown.
AIM is an organization that stands for healthy and sustainable living, yet our Market Managers and other community members are continuing to experience health issues from that smoky, polluted air from last weekend. I recognize that this weekend is particularly important as the lead-in to Thanksgiving, and cancelling markets impacts all of us financially. But, all major Health Departments recommend we stay indoors this weekend, and I believe most will. The timing is poor, I know.
However, we are still planning for our pre-Thanksgiving Marin Market on Wednesday, November 21 and next weekend’s regularly scheduled markets on Saturday, November 24 or Sunday, November 25. We’re hopeful that community members will come in droves next week to support their local farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food purveyors.
I am so sorry I couldn’t share this news sooner and apologize for any negative impacts you will experience as a result. But, I believe we will be a stronger organization in the long-term.
Thank you and be safe,
The economic loss due to The Camp Fire is enormous – into the billions, it has to be. Considering this is not the only giant fire harming California, and there’s still burning, it’s time to ask if this was a terrorist act? It has all of the impacts of one, it’s about time we look at it that way.
The climate change problem is with us, but that’s not a reason to not rule out foul play.