The Ohio University Graduate Student Senate and Office of Sustainability hosted its second Mini Farmers’ Market at Howard Park on Friday from 11 a.m. to one p.m.
OU students, faculty and community members visited the open-air market where they could buy locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as locally produced baked goods, snacks and crafts.
Tracy Kelly, Graduate Student Senate President and chairperson of the Center for Student Legal Services Board of Directors, organized the Mini Farmers’ Market.
The Graduate Student Senate wanted to support sustainability on campus and brainstormed the Mini Famers’ Market as a way to spread awareness about local foods, sustainability and healthy habits. In September, the organization hosted the first such market.
Although Kelly said that vendors thought September’s Mini Farmer’s Market was a success, the spring market had “more momentum.”
“The positive energy built, and the weather and change of location certainly helped,” Kelly said.
Kelly received an Earth Month sustainability grant to host this Mini Farmers’ Market. She hopes to continue hosting markets in the fall and spring. During the market, she offered visitors surveys to visitors to find ways to improve in the future.
All proceeds from the Mini Farmer’s Market directly benefitted vendors and supported “sustainable agriculture, local businesses and the ‘locovore’ movement here in our community,” according to the market’s Facebook event.
Friday’s vendors included: the OU Office of sustainability, Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Herbal Sage Tea Company, Crumbs Bakery, Casa Nueva, Duff Farms, Grandma’s Rolling Pin, Sarah’s Sweets, Sassafras Farms and John Gillogly Orchard.
Many of those vendors, such as John Gillogly Orchard, regularly sell at the Athens Farmers’ Market and throughout the Athens Community. The orchard, which has produced fruit since the mid-19th century, grows cherries, nectarines, peaches, blackberries, plums and 20 varieties of apples and sells at the Worthington and Athens farmers’ markets
Ohio University student Josh Gillogly has worked on his family’s farm throughout his life and said that he thinks that efforts such as the mini farmers’ market are important “because local food is better than going to the supermarket. You’re supporting the local economy and getting fresher products.”
The Athens Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to October at the Market on State mall parking lot. During the remaining months, shoppers can visit the market inside the Market on State mall on Saturdays.