Morgantown Farmers Market
The Morgantown Farmers Market is a diverse collection of more than 30 vendors that gathers every Saturday from May to October 8:30am-12pm on the corner of Fayette Street and Chestnut Street in downtown Morgantown. The farmers market that I helped with on Wednesday, and will be assisting with for the remainder of the semester, is a much smaller venue. It’s featured outside of the WVU Mountainlair and only features a few vendors and is open from 11am-1:30/2pm. This gives the student body a little taste of what the famers market is like and also gives the students a chance to purchase fresh local foods between classes as a snack or on their way home to make lunch.
I helped with Lee Farms, which is located in the Fairmont area. This particular farm was selling corn, peppers (sweet and hot), tomatoes, potatoes (red and white), apples (Sir Prize, McIntosh, and Gala), and Concord grapes at their tent. I also had some help from Alexandra Smith, an undergraduate/student intern in the HNF program.
Now, to explain a little bit about these different vendors…. As a part of the Morgantown Famers Market Association, they allow different non-profit organizations to set up at the market each week. This doesn’t include the farmers market held on Wednesdays because there is a limited amount of space outside of the Mountainlair. On those Saturdays that the regularly scheduled farmers market is held, they even have live music being played! All the vendors really make it a family-affair. They bring their children and family pets and ideally try to make the experience as personal as possible for all the customers.
Here are a few products currently in season at the Morgantown Farmers Market (Aug-Oct):
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
I, personally, think it’s a great idea to have a few vendors outside during midday on the downtown campus so students can see what West Virginia has to offer with local foods. It’s especially important because the majority of those students that do stop by the farmers market and ask about the foods are from out of state. When I first came to West Virginia and stumbled upon the farmers market, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I didn’t understand why every city or town didn’t have these around. The only thing was that it was only held on Saturday mornings from 8:30am-12pm. And honestly, I sleep-in on Saturday mornings. I admit it. So, when I heard that they were going to start having the farmers markets on every campus (Evansdale, Health Sciences, and Downtown), during the day, I was really excited about it. Even my friends get excited when I come home with farmers market food. It’s our way of eating local and promoting small local businesses in the process of eating really great fresh food.