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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The University of Utah Farmers Market Returns For Fall Semester

It’s a great way to connect students with everything that’s happening in Salt Lake City.
Sarah Karr
Local businesses and campus organizations set up thieir booths for the University of Utah Farmer’s Market on the university campus in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 (Photo by Sarah Karr | The Daily Utah Chronicle).


Surrounded by students in sunglasses with backpacks in hand, vendors convened in the Tanner Plaza on Thursday to participate in the University of Utah Farmers Market. The market, hosted by the U’s sustainability office, takes place from 10 – 2 p.m. every Thursday for the first half of the fall semester.

“It’s all a way to connect students with stuff that’s happening in Salt Lake City,” said Kara Freedman, sustainability engagement and events coordinator. Local vendors of all kinds participate in the market alongside school and community organizations.

The market also offers a “double your dollars” program. Students can exchange up to $5 cash for double that value in tokens to spend at vendor booths.

“Harmons Neighborhood Grocers and University of Utah Health have sponsored the market,” Freedman said. “They’re basically giving us money that we then give out to students, and it doubles your dollars.”

Local Vendors

Of 18 vendors taking part in the market, seven sell things like jewelry, clothes, art and more.

Heather Palmer is one of the vendors. Over a year ago she created her jewelry business Notes From Nellie in memory of her late sister, Janelle.

“During her life, she did an amazing job at telling people she loved them through little notes, texts, and cards,” read a framed letter about Janelle and Notes from Nellie that was displayed in Palmer’s booth.

“Every purchase comes with little note cards,” Palmer said. “These are all cards that she wrote throughout her life, and they’re all in her handwriting.”

Included with the purchase of Palmer’s handmade jewelry are two notes, one to keep and one to pass on.

Another one of the vendors is Wild Waters Soapery, which sells an array of sustainable bath products.

“We use nature friendly ingredients for a healthier planet and a healthier you! No Palm oil, no animal products,” read the business’ website. To create natural and sustainable products, Wild Waters Soapery uses natural dyes, like clay and herbs, and carefully selected scents of essential oils.

“My grandma makes all of this in her basement,” said Quinton, the grandson of the woman who started the soapery, Kelly. When Kelly is running the booth herself, she makes an effort to talk to people about living sustainably.

Wild Waters Soapery offers handmade soaps in a variety of forms and scents, all of which are made with care and cured over a six-week period at the University of Utah Farmer’s Market on the university campus in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 (Photo by Sarah Karr | The Daily Utah Chronicle). (Sarah Karr)

Diverse Food

In addition to the art sold at the Farmer’s Market, other vendors sold food from around the world.

“We put a lot of emphasis on a diversity of types of food cuisines,” Freedman said.

International cuisine included Peruvian empanadas handmade by La Casa de la Empanada, island food from Pacific Island Grill and authentic African food from Mama Africa.

Other food vendors included Uinta Coffee, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Baby’s Bagels.

Braun Myers of Arete Gelato also attended the market.

“I love making gelato because I get to hear everyone’s stories about flavors and the significance that it’s played in their lives,” Myers wrote on Arete Gelato’s website.

In addition to his exploration of flavors, like making a locally-sourced tomato sorbetto or a candied pickle sorbetto, Myers described his love for connecting with people through Arete Gelato. He recalls connecting with a father, who had just gotten laid off, and giving him a free cup of gelato. As well as a time when a sample of one of his gelato flavors remedied an international student’s homesickness.

“That’s like the coolest, kind of most unexpected part,” Myers said.

The Uinta Coffee bar parks itself just outside the Student Services Building at the University of Utah Farmer’s Market on the university campus in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 (Photo by Sarah Karr | The Daily Utah Chronicle). (Sarah Karr)


The University of Utah has defined sustainability as “the integrated pursuit of social equity, environmental integrity, and economic security for current and future generations.” The university’s farmers market is built to follow this definition.

“I do hesitate to say like a farmers market is the pinnacle of living sustainably,” Freedman said. “I think there’s a lot of very legitimate pushback that farmers markets can sort of cater to white wealthy people.”

To combat this, the market encourages inclusivity and works to include and support women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.

“We’re trying to create community,” Freedman said.


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About the Contributors
Josi Hinds, Arts Writer
Josi Hinds is in her second year at the University of Utah, majoring in communications with a minor in both gender studies and Spanish (for now). She grew up in Bozeman, Montana, and moved to Salt Lake in hopes of venturing out in the world and meeting new people. She joined the Chronicle out of a love for writing and meeting new people, and she hopes to share stories that broaden both her and others' perspective on the world
Sarah Karr, Photographer
Sarah Karr was born and raised in Springfield, Oregon, and is attending the University of Utah with a major is communication and a minor in digital photography. Sarah is working with the Chronicle to improve her photojournalism skills and gain some experience in the newsroom. In her free time, Sarah likes to play online games, read and tend to her plants.

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