SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After 40 years, one of Sacramento’s best-known weekend destinations faces an unknown future.
The certified farmers market located underneath the Capital City Freeway, between 5th and 8th streets, and held on Sundays had to abandon the site to make way for a major freeway overhaul.
After construction dates were set to widen the overhead freeway, organizers had a month to find another location that could accommodate space and parking for the largest certified farmers market in the state as far as the number of vendors goes.
“We didn’t think we’d find anything,” said Dan Best, the coordinator for Certified Farmers’ Markets.
Best looked at 50 locations before the owners of Arden Fair Mall offered its back parking lot behind the soon-to-be-closed Sears store. That location will still need proper permit approval from the city before a planned opening on the third Sunday of March.
But the new site is an issue for people used to walking and biking to the farmers market like regular shopper David Sobel. He’s hesitant to make the 7-mile drive to the new location.
“We might not do it as much,” Sobel said. “Yeah, I sort of doubt that we’ll end up driving over there as much.”
Best said one small grower gets 80% of his income from the Sunday market.
Still, there are some signs that customers will stay loyal.
“We’ve had people say, ‘Yeah we’re following it because we have a relationship with the growers that are here.’ And that makes you cry,” Best said.
Others said they already live near the new location and there’s a potential for new customers.
One of the problems with the new proposed location is the residential areas around Arden Fair Mall are separated by fencing and a wall, meaning it’s difficult to walk or bike to the new farmers market location.
“It’s the only place we could move,” Best said. “If we had a choice we wouldn’t move.”
Best said he’s counting on people supporting small growers at the new site until they are able to move back when construction is finished, perhaps in December.
Some already can’t wait.
“I hope construction stays on time and it will be back, that will be nice,” Sobel said.
The permit process is being fast-tracked and the farmers market expects to open at the Arden Fair Mall site March 21.
Check out these other sites throughout the week:
- Wednesdays at Winn
- Midtown Farmers Market
- Fremont Park (Typically opens in May)
- Roosevelt Park (Typically opens in May)
- RiverWalk Farmers Market (Typically opens in May)
- Oak Park Farmers Market (Typically opens in May)
- Cesar Chavez Plaza (Typically opens in May)
- UC Davis Health System Farmers Market (Typically opens in May)