Building upon early popularity, the GU Farmers Market grew to incorporate new vendors and aims to expand its outreach and educational efforts this year.
This semester has brought four new vendors selling products that include homemade crafts, kettle corn, fresh meats and gluten-free desserts. Whole Foods will also provide cooking demonstrations every other Wednesday.
This season also will also include a speaker series titled “Fresh Foods, Fresh Thoughts.” The market will feature lectures by Georgetown professors on April 25.
“We are piloting. We are probably going to do one or two lectures and see where it goes to see if we want to continue it next semester,” Donald said.
Gadsden hopes that subjects explored by these speakers will vary from the theology or philosophy of food to sustainability and agricultural issues. The new Dean of the Science, Technology and International Affairs program Timothy Beach is lined up as a potential lecturer.
The market’s leadership, Bre Donald (NHS ’12) and Melissa Gadsden (NHS ’12), decided to move the weekly event, which will be set up every Wednesday until May 9, on Copley Lawn. The pair decided to move th e market from the Healy Circle to the edge of Red Square beginning this semester.
“Although Healy Circle is what you see right when you walk into the gates, Red Square is really a busier spot and definitely more of the heart of campus,” Gadsden said.
The pair noted, however, that Healy Circle was more accessible for the vendors, who now have to unload their goods behind White-Gravenor Hall and then park their trucks next to McDonough Arena.
The change in location has made it more challenging to include food trucks, a staple of the market last semester. The team is hoping that the trucks, which included Sauca and Sweetflow, will participate in future markets by parking outside of the front gates.
While outside companies currently comprise of all the market’s offerings, Donald and Gadsden hope to open up opportunities for students to sell goods as well.
Initially a project of the 2011 ReImagine Georgetown grant, the market also secured funding from the Georgetown University Student Association when it launched last spring. This year, the market has secured additional funding from a variety of sources, including the Office of the President and continued support from GUSA.
As the farmers market grows, organizers plan to charge vendors $60 per week to supplement the outside funding.
“The goal is to make the market more sustainable and less reliant on GUSA money,” Gadsden said.
Gadsden and Donald will graduate at the end of this semester and are searching for new leadership for the project, which they began work on last fall.
“Because we are both graduating, we have had a leadership meeting for the transitional role. There are about five people who are going to take over the market as [it] expands to more community and philanthropic work in the city,” Donald said.
Donald hopes that the market will continue to expand.
“Although a ton of students might not buy groceries regularly, they might start incorporating that into their food schedules,” she said. “I really think it is only going to keep on growing.”