Mini Farmer's Market Comes to Campus
Students (or faculty or staff) who want to eat fresh, local foods but can’t get to the Farmer’s Market on East State Street each week have an alternative, thanks to the Campus Involvement Center.
Every other Friday through Oct. 25, the CIC sponsors the OU Mini Farmer’s Market from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Howard Park at the corner of College and Union streets. This is the third year of operation for the market but the first year it’s being sponsored by CIC. Tracy Kelly started it as an initiative of the Graduate Student Senate when she was the president of that organization. She recruited participants by seeking out vendors who had booths at the East State Street Farmer’s Market, as well as those who were on the waiting list for a spot there. The Mini Farmer’s Market includes some of the same vendors that can be found at the larger farmer’s market and some that don’t have spots there. Current vendors include: Casa Nueva, Sarah’s Sweets, Chesterhill Produce Auction, Flour Power Cupcakes, Crumb’s Bakery, Companion Plants, No Bull Dog Treats, Sassafrass Farm and Bangbouh Bakery Soft Pretzels.
Upon Kelly’s graduation from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the CIC took over sponsorship of the market. “In a lot of ways, it’s easier because we’re a university office,” said Barbara Harrison, assistant director for off campus living & community services for the CIC. “We can reserve the site and work with the city of Athens to reserve parking spaces.”
A $5 fee for parking is the only cost for vendors who want to participate.
Harrison said the response to the first two markets this summer has been positive, and business is expected to increase as students return to campus for the fall semester.
Construction near the site has been both a blessing and a curse. While it disrupts traffic and makes parking more challenging, the workers have been regular customers of the market.
Volunteers for the market, as well as vendors, are welcome. Anyone interested in participating may contact Tracy Kelly, who still works closely with the project, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is available for 18 vendors, and only about 10 spots have been taken so far.