Fridays are for the farmers’ market

By Ariane Komyati

Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian
The UMass Student Farmers’ Market has a wide variety of produce available. (Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)

While many students may spend their Friday afternoons going to their last class of the week and preparing for the weekend, some University of Massachusetts Amherst students attend the UMass Student Farmers’ Market on Goodell Lawn. The market takes place every Friday, 12:00-4:00 p.m. from Sept. 16 to Nov. 18.

Every week, about 100-200 students drop by to check out the locally-sourced produce. This program has been going on since 2011, and is completely run by students.

“Our mission is to bring organic, locally-sourced produce to the campus,” said Amy Henrikson, a senior majoring in sustainable food and farming who grows and sells produce at the farmer’s market.

Students at UMass produce crops grown on campus at the Agricultural Learning Center, as well as on the six acres at the Crop and Animal Research and Education Center on River Road in South Deerfield. The farmers’ market is a student business that sells their produce to the dining commons, the grocery store chain Big Y, and the Community Sponsored Agriculture program. The CSA is made up of 100 UMass students, faculty and staff. The members prepay in the spring, and the money is used for the student farmers to cover labor costs for the fall.

When autumn rolls around, members are able pick up locally-sourced produce on Fridays. However, one does not have to be a CSA member to buy the produce at the market. For a small fee, you can choose from 48 different types of crops, including flowers, eggplants, chili peppers, tomatoes and kale.

Vegetables and flowers aren’t the only things available at the market. It also features arts and crafts, and products you can purchase around campus such as tea, salsa and guacamole. Homemade tea blends to ease anxiety, calm the nerves, or help cure the flu are available as well. Some vendors offer samples of these products, and live music and dancing are also featured.

Ariane Komyati can be reached at [email protected]