October 31, 2012

Now on Ag Quad, Cornell Farmer’s Market Sees ‘Great Success’

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The Farmers’ Market at Cornell ended a successful season last week, as students, faculty, staff and local vendors gathered on the Ag Quad to learn about local food, buy fresh goods and listen to live music. Organizers of the market said they saw an increase in sales this season compared to last year.

Organizers attributed the uptick in part to a change in venue. For the past eight Thursdays, the student-run farmers’ market invited local food and craft vendors to set up between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. outside of Roberts Hall — a switch from last year’s weekly market on Ho Plaza.

Moving to the Ag Quad contributed to improved  sales and a greater number of vendors and customers.

“We’ve seen such a great success and increase of sales. [Vendors] have sold out before the end of the market, and [it was] a really great season,” Boochever said.

Katerina Athanasiou ’13, another market manager of the Farmers’ Market at Cornell and a senior editor at The Sun, agreed that “the [Farmers’ Market] has grown substantially”  since it was first held on the Ag Quad last year.

“We were a little nervous about the move from Ho Plaza at first, but it’s great because we have a lot more space for music and people to sit down, have a picnic and enjoy lunch,” Athanasiou said. “We have about three times as many vendors as we did last year, which we would not have had space for in our initial location.”Vendors also said they benefited from the new location on the Ag Quad.

“This year there are a lot more customers, and business is better on the Ag Quad,” said Emily Burrichter ’14, student manager of Dilmun Hill Student Farm. Dilmun Hill, a student-run organic farm located on Route 366, sold freshly harvested vegetables at this year’s farmers’ market.

“[The farmers’ market] is a good time for us to hang out, sell some of our vegetables that we have been working hard to grow and give back to the Cornell community,” Burrichter said.

The low cost to set up a stand in exchange for access to Cornell students, faculty and staff appeals to many vendors, Boochever said.This year’s farmers’ market featured 17 local vendors every week, including the Cornell Orchards, Dilmun Hill Farm, Tellez Mexican Catering, Honey Rock Farm, Blue Quarry Designs and Captivating Clay Creations, among others.

This year, Synapsis, the graduate student organization in Cornell’s Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, sold “local food grown with minimal input — so it’s really sustainable,” Synapsis member Lindsay Wyatt grad said.

Many students were drawn to the market’s wide selection of food vendors during the season.

“It’s really cool. I just went down there to get lunch — I was actually going to Trillium first — but then I saw the farmers’  market and decided to eat there,” Griffin Brodman ’16 said of the market.

After this season’s success, organizers said they are considering expanding the market season to span more of the academic year.

“We’re thinking of having a spring market, which will be a great way to get new members and pass on leadership roles,” Boochever said.

Original Author: Olivia Dang