Students can skip the ramen and enjoy fresh produce this week thanks to the Ohio State Farmer’s Market.
The upcoming market will provide fresh, seasonal and locally grown food to its customers and is brought to campus by Buckeye Wellness, Nutrition Services at the Wexner Medical Center, and Gabbe Health and Wellness Initiative.
On Friday, attendees, including faculty, staff and students, can purchase produce and prepared food and get tips on healthy eating and other wellness information from sources such as Ohio State Health Science Library and the Ohio State Center for Wellness Prevention.
The James Mobile Education Kitchen — a component of Nutrition Services and a self-operated food and nutrition department within the medical center — will also be conducting healthy cooking demonstrations and selling food such as sandwiches.
The farmer’s market saw about 800 visitors total in fall 2018 — its first year — achieving its goal of providing local fresh fruits and vegetables to visitors, Josh Winn, program coordinator for Buckeye Wellness, said.
“That’s really the goal is to bring actual fruits and vegetables on campus and remove that barrier that people can have when purchasing fresh fruits, especially local,” Winn said.
Yellowbird Foodshed will be supplying seasonal Ohio-based produce, which will range from cherry tomatoes and apples to sweet corn and squash, founder Benji Ballmer said. The company brings even more Ohio-based produce to the community through its sustainable delivery system and weekly subscriptions.
Though Yellowbird delivers to between 25 and 30 locations in Columbus, Ballmer said, the farmer’s market lets the company have more face-to-face conversations with people who are interested in healthy eating and locally grown products.
“It’s one thing to see the logo on a billboard,” he said. “It’s another thing to be able to interact with and talk with people who are trying to or are interested in improving their diets or the transparency of the food system.”
In addition to fostering communication around health and wellness, Buckeye Wellness is part of a campuswide initiative to educate people on those topics, which is why other Ohio State entities — including the Faculty and Staff Fitness Program and Ohio State Integrative Medicine — will participate in the farmer’s market.
“One of the big things here on campus is to educate all of the great wellness offerings at Ohio State,” Winn said. “So, it’s just another opportunity to inform people of those offerings.”
The first farmer’s market is Friday at 660 Ackerman Road from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Another farmer’s market will take place Sept. 13 at Rhodes Plaza at the Wexner Medical Center during the same timeframe. Cooking demonstrations will take place every half-hour, starting at 11 a.m.