End of the Season: On-Campus Farmers’ Market Closes for the Winter on Wednesday

by   Posted on October 27th, 2009 in Uncategorized

Katie Miller, Staff Writer

This Wednesday, the weekly Mason Farmers’ Market comes to a close after three seasons on campus. The market’s success ebbed and flowed, depending on how populated the campus was at that time.

“In the spring, there were very few participating vendors and very little attention from the campus community,” said Mark Kraner, vice president of University Life.

Jean Janssen, market organizer and spokesperson, explained that because the summer was so slow, they lost all but three vendors by the end. She also said those three pushed through in the hopes of establishing a solid base for a year-long market.

Because the market does not continue on for the entire year, vendors are projected to suffer financial stress, according to Janssen.

“We wouldn’t have sweated through last summer if we didn’t think we would be here all year long,” said Janssen. “For us, the bigger problem is the loss of income for the vendors, [which] they counted on to get them through the winter season.”

During any season, vendors and farmers have to do multiple markets a week to survive, according to Janssen.

Janssen also stated that during the summer, vendors have to do between three and four markets a week, while farmers often participate in as many as eight per week in order to produce a viable income. And having more than one year-long market is extremely beneficial as well.

The contract established with University Services states that “Wednesday, [Oct. 28th] is the last day for this farmer’s market under this agreement,” said Kraner. “The date was a mutual decision, as the produce drops off at this time.”

Considering the popularity garnered from having a weekly outlet for healthy, locally grown foods, it will prove to be a sad day for many students and faculty.

“The market, overall, was a great addition to the university,” said Dan Waxman, a graduate student working for University Services, who worked to promote and bring focus to the market.

“It enhanced university life and culture. It also provided great local food for students, staff, and faculty. The events assisted with community building and assisted with raising awareness about sustainability.”



Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CAPTCHA
*