Farmers Market offers food, chicken care advice

By By Katie Valentine

By Katie Valentine

Students visiting the U’s Farmers Market purchased food and crafts from local vendors and learned about caring for chickens.

The market is in its second year at the U and has expanded to include more vendors, longer hours and weekly workshops. The market started Aug. 20. Last Thursday’s workshop featured Celia Bell, an urban homesteader who taught students how to raise chickens in their backyards.

Bell gave tips on how to get started and care for chickens. The most important factors for students deciding whether to keep chickens are making sure they can live in the right environment and to have understanding neighbors, Bell said.

Chickens are very social animals, so students have to get at least three, Bell said.

Bell said breed selection is another crucial step to having chickens. Different types of chicken breeds will produce different egg colors and sizes. Some breeds also lay eggs more often than others.

The market and workshops were brought to the U through a collaboration between the WellU Program and the Office of Sustainability. The goal of having a market on campus is to bring students and faculty who might not be able to go to a market, said Marie Martin, outreach coordinator in the Office of Sustainability.

“It’s a great idea,” said Geneva Thompson, a sophomore in history and political science. “I love supporting the local farmers.”

Aria Flatau, a sophomore in exercise physiology, likes that anyone can go and show off what they’ve made or grown.

“It’s always different,” Flatau said.

The market meets all the goals of sustainability by helping support local companies, vendors and economy, Martin said. Some of the vendors’ livelihoods depend on selling products they produce and sell at farmers markets.

The market has vendors selling everything from tie-dye clothing to handmade jewelry.

There are also food vendors selling fresh-squeezed mint limeade, Thai cuisine and fresh fruit.

One of the vendors has the best peaches in the world, Martin said.

The market is held on the field east of the Pioneer Theater Company. The U also hosts one by the College of Health Science buildings. Admission and the workshops are free for students, faculty and the public. Giles Larson, an urban farmer, will teach a workshop at next week’s market on building solar-powered ovens. There will be a market and workshop each Thursday until Oct. 8.

Plans for next year have already started. Martin is hoping to get more vendors by the College of Health Science and relocate to the Union lawn.

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U’s Farmer Market Workshops
Sept. 3 Solar-powered ovens
Sept. 10 Bike fitting
Sept. 17 Container gardening
Sept. 24 Enviromentally friendly diet
Oct. 1 Gardening, an ecological approach: tips for the backyard garden
Oct. 8 Botanical medicine: Where do herbs fit in health care?

Lennie Mahler

Ron Jensen sells a bag of peaches to U geography student Kesia Mondragon during the U Farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoon. Jensen sells about 100 varieties of peaches along with other fruits.

Lennie Mahler