The QU Farmers Market makes a comeback

By on April 24, 2018

For the first time in three years, the Farmers Market reopened to students.

The event was on Friday, April 20 and lasted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and sponsored many vendors throughout the day, including a few student organizations.

The Farmers Market stopped due to lack of effort from people and/or groups. Someone must be willing to volunteer their time to make it happen, according to Kimberly Palencia from QU Sustainability.

The Quinnipiac University Sustainability Committee believes that the Farmers Market is an important event, according to Palencia. She said she thinks that it is very hard for students to recognize how produces are made because they are inside the institution.

Palencia stressed the fact that local businesses are the ‘backbone to all communities.’ Without the support of the community, local businesses can deteriorate over time due to lack of employment, economic support and pride in neighborhoods, according to Palencia.

The Sustainability Committee had a strong passion to bring back the Farmers Market. Support was offered from Mark Thompson, the Provost and Vice President, who funded the event.

The Farmers Market consisted of many local businesses as well as student organizations.

Professor Debbie Lavigne made tea from herbs that will be planted in the renovated garden at the Albert Schweitzer Institute. Alpha Phi Omega collected shirts and reused them to hand make pet toys for a local animal shelter. They also collected gently worn shoes for Soles4Souls.

Hanna Hejmowski, assistant director of the Central European Institute (CIE), teaches an Eco-Fashion Design class that teaches students how to create zero waste fashion made with household items. These outfits are displayed during the Eco-Fashion show. Hejmowski had Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor of Fashion and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design in New York City, talk to students about sustainability fashion.

Fitness and Wellness, Student Government Association, Chartwells, and other organizations contributed to the Farmers Market as well. Fitness and Wellness taught yoga, SGA spoke to students about recycling and Chartwells had their Fair Trade Campaign.

“The Farmers Market was a lot of fun. It was good to see people hanging out on the Quad,” freshman interdisciplinary studies major Samantha Williams said.

Thyme and Season Natural Food Market was present at the Farmers Market. Their table consisted of fresh, organic fruits and grocery products. They also made an appearance in the 2014 Farmers Market.

Student Programing Board (SPB) had a table for students to plant their own succulents. This table was used to get students out celebrating Earth Day and a way to spruce up their room with the succulents they planted. It was SPB’s first time at the Farmers Market.

“I loved making the succulents,” freshman occupational therapy major Allison Zilberfarb said, “It’s really cool seeing how Quinnipiac celebrates Earth Day.”

The Arnold Bernhard Library table provided information about bees and recycling. They also showed students how they can be more green on campus. Students were able to create blackout poetry and make origami with recycled paper from books.

Amanda Wytas, representing Forgotten Fern, was expecting a “pretty good turnout” for her first year at the Farmers Market. This business sold handmade pottery with original designs and oil diffusers.

Community Action Project, Kappa Delta and Big Event teamed up to make care packages for the homeless. These packages focused on hygiene needs, especially for women. Kappa Delta donated 500 feminine products to help out for the care packages.

Senior health science major Katharine Wilcox-Smith remembers the last time the Farmers Market was at Quinnipiac University in 2015.

“It was so nice to have students and faculty outside for Earth Day. This year they asked us to work with other student organizations for the Farmers Market,” Wilcox-Smith said.

The Crystal Cavern’s table consisted of crystals for healing, decorating, and wearing. Allison Moro, the owner of Crystal Cavern, makes her own jewelry and has an Etsy shop where she sells her products online.

“I’m expecting to carry a lot less crystals home after today. I want people to enjoy them as much as I do,” Moro said.

Senior entrepreneurship major Allison Foltiny had a table for her own brand and was really excited to see how the day went. She has sold in Tator Hall before but it was her first time selling at the Farmers Market. Foltiny sold embroidered shirts and handmade jewelry.

Kennedy Kitchens sold non-GMO and organic gourmet popcorn produced in Hamden that is gluten, nut and dairy free. They have served several Farmers Markets in the past. Laura Kennedy, representing Kennedy Kitchens, said that it is great to be back at the Farmers Market.

George Wester and a couple of helpers presented garden stones. He makes all the engravings on the stones sold. It was Wester’s first Farmers Market.

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