Editor’s note: This is one in a periodic series called Stepping Up, highlighting moments of compassion, duty and community in uncertain times. Have a story we should tell? Send it via email to email@example.com with the subject “Stepping Up.”
In other years, Pike Place Market would be extra bustling with Mother’s Day approaching and people looking to buy flowers from the long line of 40 farm stalls.
Restrictions imposed to battle the coronavirus have shut down the flower market, but mom can still get the flowers. That’s because 20 of the farmers who sell at Pike Place Market are participating in Saturday’s Drive-Thru Flower Festival.
More than 1,000 flower orders have already been made, with pickup sites at three spots in Seattle and one in Renton.
Only preorders, which have to be made by Wednesday at noon, are being accepted. Those who buy will be given a 10-minute pickup window between noon and 4 p.m. to limit the people at each location.
“We got the idea from a lot of our farmers who have been doing similar stuff — selling online and doing pickups,” said Zack Cook, farm program manager at Pike Place Market. “We didn’t know how it would go, but we are happy so far with what we’ve been doing.”
Some of the other farmers who would normally be selling at Pike Place Market also have found other venues to sell their products.
That list includes Scott Chang of See Lee Garden, who said his farm has provided flowers for gift boxes being made by Savor Seattle Tours. Because of that, his garden is not participating in the Drive-Thru Festival, but is a big supporter of it.
“These are strange times and we are still adjusting to it,” Chang said. “It’s nice we have a place to sell our wares. I am glad a lot of us are doing the Drive-Thru Festival, giving us a place to sell our flowers during this time.”
Cook said he has been impressed with how some flower farmers have adjusted to not being able to sell at the Market.
“We’ve had people so successful just hustling and selling on their own that they are practically out of flowers, which is great, because at the end of the day we just want farmers to be out of their flowers,” Cook said. “So whether they sell them through us or through somebody else, we’re just happy that they sold them.”