The Georgetown University Farmers’ Market made its spring semester debut yesterday on Copley Lawn. Vendors in attendance included Beechwood Orchards, Burekg Homemade Turkish food, Salsa Las Glorias, and Panorama Bread Company.
Market organizers Melissa Gadsden (NHS ’12) and Bre Donald (NHS ’12) have plans to expand the scope and influence of the farmers’ market this semester beyond the current sale of produce. This includes the creation of a new mini-lecture series to take place each week, entitled “Fresh Foods, Fresh Thoughts.” Gadsden and Donald have reached out to a wide variety of professors to give short talks about how the subjects they specialize in relate to sustainable and fair food practices.
“We’ll probably feature two lecturers at each market, each talking for ten minutes about food,” Gadsden said. “Topics will range from sustainability and agricultural issues to abstract ways of thinking about food.” The organizers intend to launch the lecture series at next week’s farmers’ market on April 18.
Farmers’ Market organizers are also looking to recruit more diverse vendors of vegetables, fruit, meat dairy, and specialty foods. Both Gadsden and Donald looked to other area farmers’ markets in Dupont Circle and the Eastern Market as models for the market at Georgetown. The group sent applications to vendors they wanted, and other vendors have approached them asking to be part of the market.
Many of the vendors were pleased with the business they received at yesterday’s market.
“I like this place,” Dilek Kaygusuz of Burekg Turkish food said. “The people are nice. We get a lot of good business, a lot of traffic, and people come back.”
Salsa Las Glorias vendor Lily Castano agreed, saying she enjoyed interacting with the young customers she garnered at the Georgetown market.
One of the new additions to the market this semester is Rocklands Farms, which raises pasture-fed meat and grows produce about 30 miles outside of D.C. They will only be selling meat and eggs at the Georgetown market, but their vendor said they hope to become further involved in other ways with the Georgetown community.
“We are hoping to engage people with our food and educate them,” Anna Glenn said. “We want students to start thinking about the real issue of where their meat comes from and for students to know that there is a farm close by.”
Another new addition to the market is a group that sells crafts made by women from the Luther Place Women’s Homeless Shelter. The shelter learned of the possibility of selling their crafts at the market through its partnership with Georgetown sociology professor Sarah Stiles. The group sells crafts ranging from crocheted hats to hand-made earrings, all sold with a tag reading “a bridge for healing.”
“The women come together to have a place to create,” Kirsten Kane-Osorto, Coordinator for Community Life and Justice at the shelter, said. “It allows the homeless women to experience some economic security.”
The market currently sells a mix of products, but Gadsden and Donald aim to bring in vendors who will steer it in a more organic direction. As seniors, they said they intend to recruit leadership interested in continuing the legacy of the market they have championed for the past two semesters.
“We have five or six or people taking over different aspects of the market such as logistics, philanthropy, community outreach, and marketing,” Donald said.
The market will continue every Wednesday for the rest of the semester until May 9.