Reconnect’s Farmers Market held outside of the Student Union with vendors such as Covey Rise Farms, Stephanie Made, Locally Preserved, Blue Ribbon Pies, the Ceramics Club, KSLU Radio and Pride Café in attendance offered Southeastern students the opportunity to learn about and buy local foods.
Stephanie Made is a business owned by Southeastern student and Reconnect member, Stephanie Travis. She sells jellies and jams including blackberry, blueberry, mayhaw, pear, apple and plum flavors. She also sells pickles. Travis says, “What I sell varies on what’s in season and what sells out quickly. I grow and harvest the produce myself, so it all depends on the growing season.”
This was Travis’ second time participating in the Reconnect Farmers Market. She participated last spring and the experience inspired her to sell her products at bigger markets such as the Hammond Farmers Market. She even plans on expanding and hiring an assistant soon as she has learned that promoting and providing local food is her passion. She says, “I never really thought I would own my own business at the age of 23. Even though I’ll have my masters degree in May, this business is my long term plan. It really is something that I enjoy doing and could do every day for the rest of my life.”
People walking through the Student Union seemed excited about the free samples the vendors offered. John Miller claims that his favorite product is the may haw jelly, “It’s a native berry to the area. It’s very rare and very special. You can’t find it in the store.”
Southeastern student, Gracie Smither attended the farmers market for the first time. She says, “I was surprised when I walked up to see food like produce and jellies. Everyone who offered me free samples was very nice and willing to answer my questions.” As she just stumbled upon the event, Smither was not prepared to buy anything, but says, “I’m excited for the next one and I’ll be sure to bring some money with me so I can buy a few things for my own kitchen and even gifts for family members.”
Reconnect’s goal is to educate campus about environmental and sustainable issues as well as assist in the greening of Southeastern’s community. They organize the farmers market to encourage Southeastern students to buy local, organic food.
Travis says, “People who attend the Hammond Farmers Market understand the importance of local food. I enjoy participating in Reconnect’s Farmers Market because it’s important for me to share my passion with my peers- local, chemical free food.”
For more information about Reconnect and the Reconnect Farmers Market, visit their Facebook page.
Below is a video of the Reconnect Farmers Market.