Every Wednesday, Tawes Plaza Gardens is filled with students and faculty waiting their turn to pick out their favorite produce, chocolates and jewelry to buy from vendors at the University of Maryland’s farmers market.
The University of Maryland’s farmers market is an on-campus farmers market put on by University of Maryland Green Dining. The market runs every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Sept. 8 to Nov. 17,offering students and faculty a way to volunteer for their community and purchase locally grown and produced goods.
The farmer’s market has a variety of vendors with many goods to offer. Vendors selling baked goods, truffles, jewelry, produce and coffee line the pathway of the Tawes Plaza Gardens every week. Students are able to buy fresh products without having to leave the campus.
“In college, it’s already hard to feel like I’m taking care of myself and . . . actually walking to the farmers market seeing other students also shopping there and knowing it’s from local farmers just makes me feel better about the purchase and what I’m eating,” said Mausam Patel, a senior computer science and business analytics double major.
Throughout the entirety of last year, the in-person farmers market was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This closure was the first time in its existence, since 2012, that the farmers market didn’t occur in person. While the market was not in-person, it was able to operate online. Students could go to the University of Maryland’s farmers market page to find where to go to buy their favorite items.
Since reopening in-person, the farmer’s market has returned to its previous set-up with vendors coming each week and setting up their tables outside of Tawes Hall.
The University of Maryland farmers market offers opportunities for students and faculty to volunteer and work with UMD Green Dining to set up and run the farmers market each week. They have positions for students to help with the Campus Pantry —a service that helps to provide food for students and staff in emergency situations and raise awareness around the issue of hunger amongst college students. They also offer opportunities for students and faculty to help set-up, run, and advertise for the farmers market.
Not only does the farmers market offer a way for students and faculty to volunteer and buy from local businesses, it is also a way for Terps to meet other students who share the same love for homemade goods. Students who have turned the farmers market into a weekly tradition open themselves up to create connections and friendships with the other students they see there each week, according to Serwaa Yeboah-Korang, a freshman psychology major who works at the farmers market.
“I feel like all friendships and all relationships are built off of some type of common interests, so the farmers market here is one of those common interests that’s pretty strong, so you can be like, ‘Oh, you go to the farmers market often, and I do too,’ so then that could be a bonding . . . moment” Yeboah-Korang said.