Farmers Market starts 8th season at GV
This summer, June 4 marks the beginning of the 8th season of the Farmers Market at Grand Valley State University. On Wednesdays, Lot G will be transformed from asphalt and parking spots into a destination for students, staff, faculty and administrators looking for healthy, fresh food.
“We work hard every season to bring the campus and surrounding communities a variety of fresh, local produce and options for shopping smarter and supporting our local economy,” said Kay Hart, the manager of GVSU’s Farmers Market. “With that, we have fun and try to engage everyone that comes to visit the market. It is a bonus that GVSU has a market on campus. We have something for everyone.”
This year there are 17 local vendors including Goen’s Produce, the Great Bread Company, Maisy’s Pies and Billi’s Goodies. Visitors can expect to find fresh produce, kettle corn, baked goods, salsas, cupcakes, micro-greens, honey and fresh flowers, among other things. Each week there will also be live music.
GVL / Archive Greg Dunn of Trillium Haven Farms in Jenison puts some plants out to sell at the opening day of the Fulton Street Farmers Market
“The food you get is so fresh and high quality,” said Shana Kelly, a biostatitiscs graduate student at GVSU. “You don’t have to question what exactly is in it or if it will benefit your health. I love to hear the vendors speak so passionately about the products they have so much pride in. I think it’s great that GV has this farmers market so college students can build healthy habits they hopefully continue the rest of their life.”
Oftentimes though, people say eating healthy is expensive. Hart admits that this claim can be true. However, she says that when you look at the big picture, better foods actually end up being cheaper.
“I do think that sometimes eating healthy is more expensive up front, but the benefits to your health by eating healthier in the long run will save on doctor visits, time off work for sick days and general overall health issues,” she said. “Plus, walking around the market you will get some exercise that way too. Most of my vendors are pretty competitive with grocery store prices but the benefit is fresh off the farm.”
Hart also believes that the market is a convenient way to support the surrounding communities around GVSU.
“The benefits are not only to teach our faculty, staff and students the importance of eating healthy, but to also support the local economy,” she said. “Plus the camaraderie of having a general gathering space so we can see those that we would not normally see during the work day and to meet new people from our surrounding communities.
“I truly believe local is best. It helps sustain our local economy, which in the long run saves everyone.”
The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday from June 4 through September. For more information visit www.gvsu.edu/farmersmarket/.