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The stories that make up the farmers market

By Jennifer Dettwiller
On March 27, 2018

Vendors at the Reconnect farmers market talk to potential customers about their products ranging from homemade jams and jellies to essential oils. Vendors included Mary Brinkham from Mama Mary’s Kitchen that offered a variety of jellies for taste testing. Jennifer Dettwiller/The Lion’s Roar

The farmers market is made up of individuals who sell their homegrown items.

On Wednesday, March 21, the Reconnect Sustainability Organization hosted a farmers market in front of the War Memorial Student Union from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with booths ranging from healing oils to homemade beef jerky.

MD Delights Jerky offered samples of their different beef jerky flavors, which included Hawaiian, teriyaki, barbecue, Cajun, bacon and chili lime to interest new customers and welcome old ones. Melinda Hulsey explained how MD Delights Jerky became a part of the university farmers market and how they profit from it.

“We sell at the farmers market in Hammond, and somebody approached us and asked us if we would be interested,” said Hulsey. “We do really well. We have regular customers that come every time we’re here to buy from us.”

Reconnect Farmers Market Intern Ta’Lynn Belle explained why the organization put on this event and where their produce for the market comes from.

“We host the farmers market because we promote sustainability and locally-produced products, so like any vegetables or homemade things,” said Bell. “We promote those people so that they won’t go out of business. We get our veggies from Cove Rise Farms. It’s a farm in Covington, and they produce their produce locally. And they use low fertilizer, and it’s really organic.”

Owner of Mama Mary’s Kitchen Mary Brinkman discussed how she got her start in making jellies 25 to 30 years ago as Christmas gifts. 

“I’d give it to people, and they’d say, ‘You should sell it,’ so I started doing it in 2009,” said Brinkman. “It’s a process. It’s kinda therapeutic, and I like doing it.”

Brinkman explained that an advertisement in the newspaper is how she got into selling her merchandise at the university farmers market, and that the university’s crowd is her best market.

Freshman art major Ariana Robinson shared what intrigued her to visit the farmers market.

“I think it’s always a good thing to buy from local people from around your area, and they have nice cool popsicles, fresh food and everything,” said Robinson. “It’s good to try new things sometimes.”

Owner of India’s Oasis India Rose Foskey described what the basis for her business is and the benefits people can receive from her products.

“It’s basically meant to be a healing place through essential oils for different health benefits,” said Foskey. “I’m trying to promote people to live more toxic free lifestyles, and when using essential oils, you’ll be replacing pharmaceutical meds with herbal medicine.”

India’s Oasis products include oils such as a moon time blend, which is for PMS cramps and mood swings, an inner calm blend, which is beneficial for anxiety and stress, and an energetic focus blend, which is helpful during study time and a sleep blend.

Freshman communication major Kayla Bullard discussed her favorite thing about how the university puts on the farmers market.

“I really enjoy all of the hospitality that the people who brought their stands have,” said Bullard. “I think it’s really an inviting and a comforting kind of feeling. It gives a sense of nostalgia walking through it ’cause you know it’s local places.”

The Reconnect farmers market brings local products to the university. Jennifer Dettwiller/The Lion’s Roar

 

 

 

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