CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story did not make the market's date clear enough. The market was originally scheduled for Sept. 10 and was moved to Sept. 25 due to rain.
Farmers and vendors set up tents in the rain Friday morning in front of Davis Library at the first farmers market of the fall semester, organized by student group Fair Local Organic Food.
The event offered an opportunity to connect people with different issues in the community. The Farm at Penny Lane, one farm that participated in the market, is developed to provide community gardening programs for people with mental illness, farmer Doug Jones said.
“They come and work in the gardens, and some people call it horticultural therapy,” Jones said.
Vendors vary greatly in their goals. The Sonder Market is a student organization that focuses on bringing fresh and affordable food to the students on campus, said Marisa Scavo, a student volunteer.
“It's all about keeping food at or under supermarket prices," Scavo said. "We like to buy things that are pesticide free or use organic practices, but affordability is our number one goal."
The organization just started last fall, but Scavo said Sonder Market has big goals for the future.
“Our end goal is to have a physical place on campus or a market you can walk into,” says Scavo.
Scavo said high student interest encourages the organization to continue to expand.
“Everyone is super interested," Scavo said. "People get really into it when we are out in the Pit and ask us questions."
"Right now we are doing produce, eggs, bread (and) honey. Eventually we want to get certification status where we actually sell our own food that we make with the produce that we buy.”
The event also introduces students to the process of growing local foods. Silvan Goddin, a UNC graduate working for Red Wolf Organics, a participating farm, said preparation is key to maintaining a successful garden.
“It's pretty much a year-long process,” Goddin said. "This was our first year, so we started planning everything out in December of last year, and it took us several months until we actually had something growing out of the ground."
"And when things aren’t growing, there are still things to do like cover cropping and prepping everything for the next year, so it kind of never ends,” she said.
There is also a lot of planning involved in deciding what gets harvested, Goddin said.
“Obviously weather and length of daylight is part of it," she said. "We also like to think about what we like to eat (and) what the people we know like to eat."
Angie Nguyen said she noticed the farmers market while walking by and decided to buy some produce.
“I like it because they have a lot of really fresh stuff and the people are always really nice,” she said.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.