Weber State students had the chance to check out local organic foods and handmade crafts Sept. 16 at the first farmers market on campus.
The farmers market ran from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Atrium, the first of three to be held this semester. Weber State plans to host the farmers market again on Oct. 22 and Nov. 19.
“Bringing fresh food onto campus is something we have wanted to do for a while now and the farmers market is a great outlet for that,” Stephanie Mitts, student sustainability coordinator, said. “It connects the campus community with local growers, vendors and their farmer. They can see where their food comes from, which is important.”
While it may seem that organic foods at a farmers markets may be more expensive, Mitts said she can actually pick up less expensive produce at the farmers market than she can at the grocery store.
Fifteen to 20 vendors set up their wares on tables in the Shepherd Union for students to check out between classes.
“It’s been really good. A lot of the students have come by and have been really excited,” said Mackenzie Olsen, vendor and owner of Darling Street, a business that makes headbands. “Local is always a good place to put your money into, and you realize that people are capable of growing their own plants or making their own things.”
Olsen described how she makes everything by hand, from the scarves she sells to the headbands. She enjoys playing with new fabrics as well as new designs. She has a website where customers can order customized headbands.
The farmers market is planned only in the fall, because fresh produce is not readily available during the spring semester.
“It’s been pretty steady and everybody has been pretty excited about it,” said Alisa Littlefield, with Little Field Produce. “A lot of people haven’t seen a lot of the colors we have brought today, some of the fun colors in our tomatoes and peppers, and I think it’s beneficial for students because it’s super healthy, pesticide-free produce.”
Littlefield described how her kids are helping and at a young age are able to learn about fresh produce and the health benefits of eating what you grow.
Little Field Produce is based out of Layton. It sells at the Ogden farmers market on Saturdays, and the Kaysville farmers market on Thursday evenings.
The farmers market is not part of the engaged learning series on food that Weber State is doing this year, but it complements the series well.
“I think it’s a great thing for students. It brings organic food to students,” said Isabella Gomes, a freshman. “My favorite booth would have to be the headbands, because I am obsessed with headbands and also the fresh fruit and vegetables they have.”