The University of Maryland Farmers Market will make its in-person comeback this September after being held virtually since fall 2020.
Many of the old vendors — such as Beads by Bettina with hand-crafted jewelry and McCleaf’s Markets fresh produce — will return to Tawes Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 8. But new vendors will also be coming to bring back the buzz of the sorely missed market.
“[The farmers market] brings the campus together at a meeting point where they can relax,” said Larry Tumlin, the farmers market manager.
According to the market website, there should be a total of 10 vendors with tables set up. Tumlin hopes other groups will come to host activities like they did in the past. People could participate in games and activities to win prizes, he said.
“This is the last eight weeks of the market season, so we’re going to have to mix how we do things,” he said.
The market will be on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The farmers market weekly newsletter will be sent out on Tuesdays or Wednesdays with information about what the market will feature and what’s special about each market, Tumlin said.
Tumlin, who has worked with the market for eight years, will be offering cooking demos at the market. It helps show people that cooking isn’t that hard and their culinary aspirations aren’t out of reach, he said.
Prior to the pandemic, he held cooking demos each week using the fresh produce available at the market. The recipes he made ranged from fennel and tomato salad to an apple and butternut squash crisp. Now, he expects them to be every other week since he’s also the Campus Pantry manager. The pantry will also offer separate demonstrations for culinary skills.
The market also features different environmental groups, such as the Sustainability Office, to educate students on how to be more sustainable and what it means for the community.
An intern at the office, senior public health major Courtney Fumagalli, has tabled for the Green Terp Program at the university. The program focused on encouraging sustainability through various tutorials for market visitors.
They’ll be teaching how to make DIY sustainable products like coffee and sugar scrubs to use in the shower and reusable bags, she said. Despite working her own table at the market, Fumagalli recognizes the sense of community between all of the vendors.
“We’re all pretty similar and share similar values,” she said. “If anybody comes through, I’ll tell them to check out all the produce, and the plant stands, and there’s some jewelry stands.”
Katie Quinn, a sophomore agricultural science and technology and theatre major, helped organize the farmers market over the summer. She worked at Terp Farm during the summer, which is geared toward growing food for Dining Services and the Campus Pantry.
“A couple of our vendors … they couldn’t come back because of COVID,” Quinn said. “There’s multiple produce vendors. There is a bakery, which I’m super excited about.”
She primarily worked in the fields, growing different produce. However, she said helping with the farmers market showed her a new side of agriculture. The market has a large impact on both the farmers and the communities, she added.
“Now that we’re back in person, I hope that it will help both the vendors and our clientele,” Tumlin said.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story misstated that the Green Tidings food truck will return to the farmers market. The university cannot guarantee the food truck’s return to the market due to staffing shortages. This story has been updated.