Farmers’ Market at Cornell Reopens After Winter Hiatus

Despite the gray weather, the Farmers’ Market at Cornell returned to the Agriculture Quad to begin its fifth year of operation Thursday...

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By Molly Karr via Cornell Daily Sun, 4/9/2015

Despite the gray and chilly weather, the Farmers’ Market at Cornell returned to the Agriculture Quad to begin its fifth year of operation Thursday.

Vendor booths lined up behind Kennedy Hall, displaying signs that said “Cornell Bread Club” and “Fat Boy Bakery.” Many booths had sample tastings, which several passing students took advantage of.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday from now until the end of the school year, students and faculty alike can visit vendors like HoneyRock Farms, taste products from the student-run Dilmun Hill Farm and slurp raw smoothies and coffee.

“My favorite part of the Farmers’ Market at Cornell is telling people about bees and honey,” said Bill Hiller of HoneyRock Farm, a local honey business which uses its profits to provide financial support for youth outreach programs.

Ella Nonni ’16, co-Social media chair of the market, said the market’s emphasis on locally-grown produce makes for a better consumer experience.

“We live in a rich agricultural area, and in a city with a strong focus on small businesses,” said Nonni, who is also a blogger for The Sun. “Shopping at a farm stand and getting to know the people that grow your food is a much more gratifying experience than buying all your vegetables in prepackaged containers at the grocery store.”

The Farmers’ Market also invites student-run organizations, including the Cornell Bread Club, to participate, according to Jackie Horn ’16, vice president of the club.

“The Market is a really good way to get new members to our club,” Horn said. “We’ve been selling bread at the farmers market since our club began, which was three years ago.”

Nonni added that the market’s convenient location makes it highly accessible for students.

“Since many students may find it difficult to explore off campus, I believe it’s important to allow them the opportunity to connect with the community on-campus,” she said.

Market organizers have worked to make sure that it represents an accurate cross-section of the Ithaca community, according to Market Manager Noa Wesley ’17. “We want our market to fully represent the wonderful food and farming community in the Ithaca area,” Wesley said.” In the future we hope to hold our market on additional days and possibly additional locations.” According to Wesley, the Farmers’ Market first began at Cornell in 2010.

“Our market started on Ho Plaza in 2010, and in 2011 we moved to the Ag Quad where we have since been located,” Wesley said. “Our vendor composition has changed throughout the years, and we are always trying to diversify and grow the number of vendors.”

By increasing its social media presence, Nonni said the Farmers’ Market hopes to encourage more students to make it a habit to buy fresh produce every Thursday.

“We feature our vendors and market events on the market’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and we recently started a blog to chronicle our vendors’ stories more in-depth,” Nonni said. “We’ve also recently begun to host events such as documentary showings and talks from visiting speakers to discuss modern agriculture, sustainable, international agriculture.”

Nonni said she hopes students gain a better understanding and appreciation of local farming through the initiative.

“We hope to foster a community of students and faculty that are interested in supporting local farmers and artisans, as well as creating a sustainable food supply,” Nonni said. “Ithaca is a wonderful place to cultivate this kind of awareness.”

Views expressed in News posts may not be those of Cornell University. No endorsement is implied.