UMD Farmers Market Bids Farewell for the Season

On a chilly afternoon, University of Maryland students took to the Tawes garden plaza to partake in the final farmers market of the season on Nov. 20. 

The farmers market at Maryland wrapped up its seventh season with about 13 unique vendors in the garden plaza surrounded by the Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology building, Tawes Hall and Benjamin Hall. The season spans from April to November, running every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market is a favorite for students to try tasty treats and get low-priced produce that isn’t too far from their dorm rooms. 

“Markets are so fun, you get to see people come here every week and form connections with each other and other vendors,” said Mikaela Greenwald, a student intern for the farmers market.

 

Farmers market intern Mikaela Greenwald reads in the Tawes plaza before the market officially opens for the day. (Photo by Camryn DeLuca)

Starting in June, Greenwald thoroughly enjoyed her time working with the market. The junior public policy major with a minor in sustainability helped with the promotion of the event and contacting vendors. She is the sole student intern for the market.

A variety of vendors offered an abundance of choices for students, faculty and staff who frequented the market. There were stands for produce, bread, baked goods, coffee, jewelry and even homemade soaps. 

“It’s neat to see all the different vendors. There’s a wide variety because we do ten different markets each week,” said Lindsey Griest, an employee with McCleaf’s Orchard.

McCleaf’s Orchard has had a stand at the farmers market since the beginning; vendor Brad McCleaf has been there the whole way through. Their stand can be recognized by their large wooden barrels of apples, ranging from Honeycrisp to Fuji. The stand also offers apple cider and vegetables like shiitake mushrooms and brussels sprouts. McCleaf sells his produce at ten different markets each week around Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The orchard is based in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, about 90 miles from the UMD campus.  

“The apple cider is fire,” said Elizabeth Herbert, a senior English major.

Herbert appreciates the market for its proximity to Tawes, where a majority of her English classes are. Another big factor for Herbert is the low prices and high accessibility. Her favorite purchases at the market are the onions, strawberries, and apples. 

Students coming to terms with their ensuing final exams and projects could find solace in the “Fudge Bar” stand close to the front of the Art Sociology building. With fudge at the forefront, owner Edward Heller said he brought about 18 to 22 different flavors of fudge for his stand each Wednesday.

“What makes our product so tasty is that we’re not using any additives,” said Heller.

This was Heller’s first year as a vendor at the farmers market. He said he was invited following his participation at last year’s indoor holiday show at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union. Heller’s favorite part of the market has been meeting all of the students.

Edward Heller with his wide variety of treats, ranging from fudge to chocolate-covered Oreos. (Photo by Camryn DeLuca)

Heller said he creates certain flavors that are only available at certain events he attends. For UMD, he brings “Batman” and “Superman” flavors of fudge. The Batman flavor consists of pure dark Belgian chocolate with fresh banana, while Superman contains blueberries, strawberries, and banana. Aside from fudge, the stand offers chocolate covered Oreos and Rice Krispies treats.

The Fudge Bar’s “Superman” flavored fudge is a special edition for the University of Maryland farmers market. (Photo by Camryn DeLuca)

As vendors packed up their fruits, veggies, and treats for the season, a somber air filled the plaza. Students will be able to get their local produce fix once again in April when the market opens back up. For those who weren’t able to attend the market this year, there is always next season.