Turning the corner in the Campus Center across from the Bookstore, tables piled high with fresh food were visible. Posters tacked on the cement walls announced the three organizations coming together here: Garden Share, the Permaculture Committee, and the Student Farm Enterprise.
The UMass Student Farmer’s Market looked like a mini-version of the farmer’s market that takes place in Amherst Center. Laid out on the tables and in bountiful supply were squash, beets, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, salad-mix, leek, jars of tea leaves, hot peppers, and even necklaces, which were made by a tribe in Africa. The prices of the food seemed reasonable, which is an important factor for college students with low budgets, meaning the market is likely to be popular.
The organizations involved were all enthusiastic and happy to share more about the Student Farmer’s Market. Nell Finnigan, a member of the Student Farm Enterprise, explained that the food is bought at wholesale prices to be sold at lower retail prices, helping to make the food affordable to students.
The Student Farm Enterprise is a wonderful organization providing sustainable and affordable food to the UMass campus, and it has been operating successfully over the past four years. Nell described the Student Farmer’s Market as, “a liaison between the farmer and the student,” and as a place where Garden Share, the Permaculture Committee, and the Student Farm Enterprise coalesce to provide sustainable food on the UMass Amherst campus.
Nathan Aldrich, the Sustainability Specialist for Auxiliary Services at UMass, created the Student Farmer’s Market. He explained that all of the food is grown by students, and that much of the food came from sites on or near campus, with the food from the Student Farm coming from the UMass Research Complex in South Deerfield, MA. According to Nathan, the purpose of having a student farmer’s market on campus is recognition for all three sustainable food organizations, the need of a central location for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and as Nell said, to provide a place for interaction between the student and the farmer.
Adequately-put by Nathan, the Student Farmer’s Market “is a place where you can stumble upon sustainable food”; it takes place at the Campus Center every single Friday, from 12-4 pm, until November 18th.
For more informatiion on community supported agriculture, follow this link :