Reconnecting with local vendors: A farmer’s market

The student environmental sustainability organization Reconnect invites local vendors to the campus “Farmers Market” to promote local food and environmental sustainability.

Reconnect will hold the “Farmers Market” on Sept. 20 in front the War Memorial Student Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to Farmers Market Manager Intern Heather Poole, the university is the first to have a farmers market on campus.

“A lot of vendors are gonna be selling stuff that you can eat for lunch,” said Poole. “We have a girl coming who makes Mexican food. It’s really good. We have a couple people doing produce like Berry Hill Farm, and then we also have a couple people selling soap and jewelry, stuff like that, but mostly just local food. The aim is just to get local food and students reconnected with local farmers.”

The first university “Farmers Market” was held in 2011. Poole discussed differences between this semester’s “Farmers Market” and past ones.

“This semester, it’s going to be a little bit different in that we’re going to have more ready to eat foods instead of just pies, cookies, groceries or jewelry,” said Poole. “We’ll have a couple more vendors, and we have coffee for the first time ever.”

 

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Poole encouraged people to stop by the “Farmers Market”.

“If you want to be more involved with ‘Farmers Market,’ basically just come out and buy stuff,” said Poole. “If our farmers are making enough profit, then they’ll want to come back, and then they’ll tell all their friends and we’ll get more and more good vendors coming which means more and more stuff for people to eat. It’s a good way to come eat lunch instead of eating the regular Chick-fil-A, Mooya, whatever.”

“Farmers market” will also be held Oct. 18 and Nov. 8. Poole explained the reason for organizing a farmers market on campus.

“The purpose of bringing a farmers market on campus is just to get people aware of where our food comes from and get them to start thinking about that,” said Poole. “Obviously, the ‘Farmers Market’ alone doesn’t provide food for them throughout the year. It’s not a weekly event. It’s really just to get them to start thinking about where their food comes from, how they can get more local foods, and reconnect with the environment and local farmers.”

Beyond the “Farmers Market”, Reconnect also participates in tabling events and programs such as the university recycling program.

“Ban the bottle is one of the things we do,” said Poole. “We try to get people to use reusable cups and stuff on campus. We try to push really hard for people to eat locally. We try to spread awareness about what’s in our foods like genetically modified foods, try to educate them on all the toxins we’re putting in our bodies, and try to get people aware of what that does to our cells, our environment and our culture as a whole. It’s a lot of things. It’s multifaceted.”

Anyone interested can visit the Facebook page Reconnect or contact the faculty advisor Dr. David Burley, associate professor of sociology. Poole shared how she has tried to achieve the goal of environmental sustainability.

“One of the biggest things I’ve done recently is make sure that I use less plastic,” said Poole. “Carrying around a cup all the time is a great way. Just little things like that. Really, the biggest thing with environmental sustainability is just getting yourself to think about it, just to be conscious of it because a lot of things we do, we don’t even think about what we’re eating, how much plastic we’re using, or what we’re throwing away in the trash, in our garbage. You think about it, and you develop those habits of starting to compost, starting to be more aware, starting to buy more locally.”

 

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