U’s Farmers Market celebrates 12 years

Have you ever experienced the perfect peach? Firm flesh with an intoxicating perfume almost as exquisite as the flavor? It is something that can’t adequately be described with words. The perfect peach is still warm from the sun because it was picked the same day you bite into it. To experience this peach you need to know the farmer who grew it, who can tell you how they protected the blossoms from that late spring storm and nurtured the soil in the fall to create this peach just for you. To experience this peach, you have to come to the farmers market.

This year, the University of Utah Farmers Market celebrates its 12th season. The market, managed by the Sustainability Office, links local growers and artisans with the campus community and provides access to fresh, healthy, local produce and unique arts and crafts. Dozens of vendors attend the market each week. At our Edible Campus Gardens stand you can even purchase produce grown right here on campus. More than 5,000 people walk through the market on an average Thursday, thanks to its central location on the Tanner Plaza between the Union Building and Student Services Building.

If you haven’t been to the U Farmers Market, there are a number of features that make it unique. All students of the U are eligible for our Double Your Dollars program, which provides students with twice as much money to spend on grocery items (produce, packaged items like cheese or honey, etc.). Last season, the Double Your Dollars program helped more than 600 students access fresh, local food. This year’s Double Your Dollars funding has been expanded through the generous support of the market’s presenting sponsor, Harmons Grocery. As a family-owned and locally run grocer, Harmons has a reputation for investing in local producers and bringing fresh local flavors to your table. This year they will be sharing some recipes for easy, nutritious, affordable meals as well as low carbon meals and hosting cooking classes for students.  With two locations close to campus serviced by public transit (Emigration Market and City Creek) Harmons Grocery is easily accessible to students and employees.  Additional market sponsors include University of Utah Health, KRCL, Ray Olpin Union and ASUU.

This year, for the first time, scholarships are available to cover booth fees for new food businesses. Only vendors that have been established in the past 24 months are eligible to apply. Priority is given to vendors from underrepresented groups. This year’s scholarship recipients are Bee-Craft & Icy Mountain. Bee-Craft produces high-quality natural honey and other beehive products. Icy Mountain is a new gourmet shaved ice truck that offers unique toppings and flavors. The market is still accepting applications from produce and packaged food vendors. Students and employees are encouraged to apply, and vendor fee discounts are available to university students and employees. Applications are only accepted online.

Regular market attendees will be pleased to learn that many of last year’s favorite vendors will be returning. New vendors will be offering a wide array of delicious food and beautiful crafts.

So, mark your calendar for Thursdays, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., so you can meet the farmer who has grown a peach just for you.