There was an unusual sight on campus last Thursday in the quad outside of the Chester Fritz Library. The smell of kettle corn wafted through the air and lines of students wove in and out of a trolley that was parked on the lawn.
The Mobile Farmer’s Market visited the university campus for the first time. They have visited several public locations across the town of Grand Forks as a way to make fresh produce readily available to its citizens.
Student Government invited the Mobile Farmers Market to the University of North Dakota campus. Student Government wanted to provide students with a way to have fresh produce accessible to them without having to leave campus.
Traveling off campus is difficult for students who have no access to transportation. Being able to experience one of the highlights of the Grand Forks community without having to leave campus is a wonderful way for students who live out of state to enjoy some of the things Grand Forks has to offer. The farmer’s market has been a great addition to the Grand Forks community. Local farmers from North Dakota and Minnesota come together to sell fresh fruits, vegetables, locally sourced honey, homemade baked goods, jam, soap and lotions.
The produce at the farmers market is cheaper than produce at the grocery store and is sourced locally. This means that all proceeds the farmers make from the market goes directly to them instead of to transportation companies, stores and other business areas. This allows them to continue to provide fresh produce for a low cost.
Jennifer Allen is a junior elementary education major at UND.
When asked about her experience at the farmer’s market, Allen said, “I heard about the event through student involvement through the emails that they send to students. Student Involvement was providing $7 vouchers for students to use at the farmers market.”
Brooke Riendau, the head volunteer for the Greater Grand Forks Farmer’s Market, provided some information about the mobile shop. It travels around the city every Tuesday and Thursday. Brooke wrote a grant to receive funding for the trolley and has been amazed at the response from community.
“When (the farmers) heard about the trolley project, they were more than willing to provide produce and products for us. We have even partnered with two vendors that travel with us. (…) During this first hour, we had a flood of students coming through.” Riendau said.
Being able to purchase locally grown produce has allowed students to connect with local businesses and has allowed businesses to show support to them. This was an event that drew many students from across the campus and gave them a break from the daily grind of classes.
Although the day was spoiled by clouds and chilly weather, students still found their way to the quad. If there are students who are interested in the Saturday farmer’s market, there will be another event downtown in the market square beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.
Devon Abler is a staff writer for Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]