Regina Farmers Market comes to campus
Article: Laura Billet – Contributor
The President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability has been hard at work raising awareness on sustainability and they are to thank for the Farmer’s Market coming to the University every Thursday of this year. Oct 24 is the first market at which you can expect to see about forty vendors selling root vegetables, organic eggs, baking, and more in the RIC Atrium.
The Farmers Market is a place for people to get great and fresh food, chat with each other, and learn about their community. It emphasizes sustainable living and farming which leads to healthier people and communities.
“It isn’t that industrial food systems are inherently unsustainable, but local food systems tend to be more sustainable. So you have more organic food, more local food and the effects of unsustainable practices are felt much more quickly,” says Carol Reyda, Project Manager for Construction and Sustainability at the University.
The benefits do not stop there. Farmers Markets help to sustain a local economy.
The studies that have been done on farmers markets across Canada have shown that each one of those vendors will employ anywhere from one to five employees,” explains Ada Bennett, Manager of the Regina Farmers Market. “I have a list of about 140 vendors. If you do the math, there are a lot of people who are employed through the Farmers Market and that money then gets spent locally as well. So when you actually spend your dollar at a farmers market you are supporting the regional economy and you are keeping your money local.”
Farmers Markets are not just for the foodies among us either, they have something for everyone. Even if you aren’t quite sure what that leafy green is called, or how to cook it, Bennett urges you to just ask. The vendors are eager to talk to you about their product and teach you something new.
“I think the thing that is so interesting about farmers markets … is respect for food, and respect for food choices. We serve everyone from a carnivore to a vegan, from gluten-free to full on ‘I want to eat treats with white flour in them,’ and I think that’s what we are going to try to offer to the University students. I am hoping to attract them into elevating their food experience and learning about their own local food, their own sustainability within our food system here in Regina … I welcome the opportunity to open up some young minds to having some respect to what we can offer them.”
The Regina Farmer’s Market runs on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. from Oct. 24 through to Dec. 19 at the U of R, and will start again in the winter semester. Check it out in the RIC Atrium Oct 24, Nov. 14 and 21, or the URSU Multipurpose Room on Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 28, Dec. 5, 12, and 19.