Farmer’s Market returns to GV for summer
Opening day to feature live music, free smoothies and more
With the summer sunshine finally upon us at Grand Valley State University, community members can look forward to the return of the GVSU’s Farmer’s Market, who will begin their sixth-season on the Allendale Campus on June 6. Opening day will feature live jazz, bebop and funk music as well as free smoothies, massages and prizes for attendees from noon to 1p.m.; but with 15 regular season vendors posted it up in parking Lot F every Wednesday, there’s a whole lot more market goers have to look forward to.
Fresh, locally grown produce is not alone, of course; market vendors can expect all types of food – granola bars, Amish cheese, salsa, baked goods and kettle corn. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Campus Dining will cook up a different $6 meal each week, including dishes like cucumber tomato herbed gazpacho and pesto chicken wraps.
“This year we will have meat and doggie treats,” said Kay Hart, manager of the GVSU Farmer’s Market.. “The pricing is awesome. I’m excited.”
The “doggie” treats are all natural Dognip Bones for beloved pets. Also new this year will be Mike’s Processing with assorted meats and meat sticks.
Though Hart said in the month of July “most people seem to be on vacation,” June and August months are pretty busy, with an average of about 130 customers each week. And though the GVSU Farmer’s Market sees plenty of students and faculty, they’re hoping this year to draw in more of the surrounding community members.
“It’s a great way to spend some time each Wednesday,” said Susan Sloop, work life consultant for GVSU’s health and wellness department. “The music adds to the atmosphere as well.”
Aside from atmosphere, Sloop said shopping at the market is not only a show of support for our Allendale-area farmers and the local economy, but a good way to purchase fresh produce in your own back yard, without a trip to the grocery store – an idea that’s in line with GVSU’s greater goal for a more sustainable lifestyle
Having the market just outside of GVSU classrooms, Sloop said, minimizes our carbon footprint that’s created from traveling long distances.
“The program focuses on the whole person, sustaining both physical and emotional well being,” Sloop said. “The market not only provides healthy food, but gives people a sense of well being.”
During each market, from noon to 1 p.m., the Kent County Health Department and Health Education Department will hold a healthy cooking class. Additionally, the health and wellness department will collect food and money donations for the student food pantry, run through GVSU’s Women’s Center.
Though the GVSU Farmer’s Market will be closed June 4 and Aug. 29, local produce lovers can expect the market to run every Wednesday from June 6 until Sept. 26. For more information, or to view the produce calender, visit www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness/farmer-s-market-88.htm.