Busy day at Berkeley Farmers Market as air quality improves

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – For the first time in a month, no Spare the Air Alert.

Clear blue skies brought people out after wildfire smoke blanketed the Bay Area.

KRON4 stopped by Berkeley’s Farmers Market where it’s been slow because of the bad air. today was the busiest they’ve seen in weeks.

“Everyone finally came out after a couple of weeks of hiding,” Amanda Gordon, Berkeley Farmers’ Market Operations Manager at Ecology Center, said.

This is not something to be taken for granted these days.

“This – no ash in the sky, excellent air quality,” Ken Wilan said. 

Especially when your livelihood depends on mother nature.

“It’s so beneficial for us to have the clear weather because most of our income comes from outdoor markets like this,” Eddie Diaz said.

Vendors like Eddie Diaz, owner of Golden Rule Organics at Berkeley’s Farmer’s Market, either lost acres or know others who suffered damage to their properties from the wildfires and had to operate in unsafe smoky conditions.

“We had a lot of problems because customers were a little wary of the ash and the smoke affecting the vegetables. we assure them everything is safe just wash everything once you get it to your house,” Diaz said.

And then the bad air, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued Spare the Air Alerts for 30 consecutive days – the longest on record, keeping shoppers away for weeks until Thursday.

“Suddenly you can’t go outside and now the air quality is good again and it’s like rejoicing and happy,” Wilan said. 

“I like to support the farmers and I know exactly what they grow and what I want,” Ellie Goldstein-Erickson said. 

“It’s a really good time to support the farmers that have lost so much in these last weeks and even months,” Gordon said. 

Air quality officials say we can expect good to moderate air in the Bay Area for the next few days, but this weekend we could see smoke coming from the north and that may affect the North Bay and parts of the East Bay.

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