Michigan Dining and Central Student Government will help extend the availability of the delicious, nutritious treat of summer -- fresh fruits and veggies -- by hosting the 8 th annual M Farmers Markets at the University of Michigan. Take a break from the work day and say “hello” to our local farmers while picking up some farm-fresh items.
The event will take place twice each on Central Campus and North Campus:
- September 13th: South Ingalls Mall, 10-2 pm
- September 27th: The Grove, North Campus, 10-2 pm
- October 11th: South Ingalls Mall 10-2 pm
- October 25th: The Grove, North Campus, 10-2 pm
Fresh fruits, veggies, and other locally sourced food items will be available for purchase from local farms and U-M's student-run Campus Farm.
“Farmers markets are an important part of the community for economic, social and environmental vitality,” says Keith Soster is the Director of Student Engagement for MDining. “Farmers markets serve not only as a way for people to purchase locally grown produce but also as a chance for them to connect with others within their communities. In addition, buying from farmers markets helps reduce our environmental footprint.”
Across the country, more than 85% of farmers market vendors travel fewer than 50 miles to sell at the markets, according to the USDA. That’s true of our local vendors, as well. Compare that to most supermarkets where seven to fourteen days can go by between the time produce is picked and when it becomes available to shoppers. In that time, fruits and vegetables travel, on average, more than 1,200 miles before reaching grocery store shelves.
That’s a lot of miles.
The upcoming M Farmers Markets are part of the university’s goal to have 20 percent of the food served on campus provided by farmers within a 250 mile radius. More than 30 Michigan farmers and suppliers currently provide the university with meat, milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables and more.
Participating in the fall on-campus markets are:
Lesser Farms from Dexter -- Dale Lesser’s grandfather bought the property in the early 1900s and the family has been farming it ever since. With over 1,200 acres of farmland, the Lessers grow corn, soybeans, pumpkins, and apples. This old-fashioned, working family farm offers honey, soaps, and eggs year round.
Todosciuk Farms & Greenhouses from Howell -- Jim and Tina Todosciuk are devoted vegetable farmers who have been running their 45-acre farm for two decades. They also deliver fresh produce (beans, broccoli, cucumbers, and squash) to the University of Michigan Hospital and UM’s dining halls and run a Community Shared Agriculture program (CSA).
Campus Farm --The Campus Farm is a year-round, student-run greenhouse and farm space that was founded by the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP) and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. More than 20 to 50 students volunteer at the farm each week, engaging in hands-on learning about sustainable farming, the environment, equality, and issues of justice surrounding food. The Campus Farm was able to begin supplying its produce to MDining after attaining its USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) food safety certification in June.