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Week of October 3, 2011

Farmers’ Market returns to Union

After a successful Farmers’ Market several weeks ago at the Michigan Union, the market is back from 11am-3pm. this Thursday. 

The idea for a campus Farmers’ Market sprouted from a suggestion made by Monica Sangal, chair of the Michigan Student Assembly Health Issues Commission, who wanted to use the market to showcase healthy eating options and healthy cooking tips to students. Through collaboration with University Unions, University Housing and other campus partners, the market features fresh produce from local farms, cooking demonstrations, samples, and information about healthy and sustainable living.

Sonya McDowell (left), project coordinator, LSA Development, speaks with Tina Todosciuk of Todosciuk Farms during a recent Farmers' Market at Michigan Union. Photo by Laura Seagram.

For University Unions and University Housing, the market provides an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to meet some of the local farmers that have been supplying the university for several years. The local farmers that participate in the market also provide produce to University Unions restaurants, U-go’s, University Catering and Residential Dining Services on a regular basis.

“We take pride in the relationships we’ve built with local farms and appreciate the opportunity to make the campus community aware that they can find local produce right here,” says Keith Soster, University Unions Food Service director. More than 30 Michigan suppliers and farmers provide the university with poultry products, fruits, vegetables, prepared snacks, baked goods and more. The local farmers participating at the market include Goetz Farm in Riga, Mich., Lesser Farms and Orchards in Dexter and Todosciuk Farms in Howell. 

Chefs from Residential Dining Services and University Catering also are at the market demonstrating quick and easy dishes that can be made from fruits and vegetables of the season. In some cases, visitors are learning about items they have not been exposed to before. Thursday’s Farmers’ Market will include a variety of produce that is fresh from the farms. A list of featured fruits and vegetables is available at

The market also features displays from university units committed to educating the community about additional ongoing healthy and sustainable efforts. Thursday was selected as the second market day to tie into the MHealthy “Tailgate” Expo taking place near the Union at Regents Plaza where staff and faculty can sign up for Active U, get flu shots and learn more about MHealthy programs. 
Presentations and displays by University Health Services, Office of Campus Sustainability and U-go’s Convenience Stores will highlight other aspects of healthy living, buying local and additional sustainable efforts by the university. To round out the market, University Unions Arts and Programs will be sponsoring a plant sale featuring a variety of plants to decorate an office or home.



Katherine Weider, creative arts producer, School of Art & Design, on offering advice for students: “You can’t always imagine your future. I think you have to trust that your loves and your interests will eventually lead you to the right place.”


“Photographer as Witness: Proof Enough?” with Jill Vexler, 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery in Room 100

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