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Farmers market showcases culinary, creative items

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Jill Hickman sells Artison Baking Goods Co. products on campus for a farmer's market event. Photo by Sean Martillo. James Phelps gives out samples of his tomato jam to people at the TCU Community Farmers Market and Art Fest next to the Sadler building. Photo by Sean Martillo.

A farmers market held on campus Wednesday was a “social sustainability movement” that worked to unify the campus through social events, Daniel Terry said.

“[The community renewal program is] a student affairs initiative that promotes and works for campus community where people know and extend care to one another,” Terry, a director for Student Development Services, said. “A community like that builds relatedness and creates a healthy and vibrant community.”

Terry said he and community renewal members thought the best way to bring the campus together would be to create a large community gathering. Farmers markets in the past had mostly appealed to faculty and staff. This year, they attempted to raise student interest by allowing students and staff to set up their own tables with whatever they like, so that way it was not just off-campus vendors.

The TCU Community Farmers Market and Art Fest began at 3 p.m. in the parking lot between Sadler Hall and the Campus Commons. Students, faculty, and staff as well as alumni participated in the event. Some even set up their own tables with their creative or culinary contributions.

TCU Community Involvement staff member Melissa Gruver said she heard about the farmer’s market through Terry’s e-mail. She set up a table with bowls she made out of old records and sewed headbands out of old sheets. She said she set up the booth as a way to talk with people, have fun and present her ideas rather than make money.

Students were also present at the market selling their items for profit and for fun. Freshmen Hannah Siegers, a movement science major, and Alex Nied, a pre-major, sold homemade bows. Siegers said the two planned to donate the proceeds to “Beautiful Feet,” a non-profit organization in downtown Fort Worth that serves the homeless.

Junior Lea Patterson, political science major, and her mother also had a table set up. They were selling koozies, coasters and scarves Patterson knitted herself as well as sandals with purple ruffles that her mother made.

“I’ve made this kind of stuff for years and just wanted to come out here to show what I can do,” Patterson said.

Off-campus vendors were also present including the Fort Worth Farmer’s Market, which sold various fruits, vegetables and other food and drink, and Mary B Cakes, a bakery in Mckinney, was giving out free cake samples.

Many students who attended the market said they heard about it through flyers and e-mails. Sophomore child development major Meg Mathews said she saw a flyer in the library about the farmers market and was mainly there to browse, but ended up buying pumpkin bread.

“It’s a cool opportunity to come out and see what people in the community are doing,”  Mathews said. “I would definitely come back out if TCU does it again.”

Sophomore music education major Claire Davis said she actually came across the market but found it interesting and stopped to browse. Davis said she loved the handmade jewelry various vendors were selling.  TCU should advertise more in the future and expand the market, she said.

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