Photos by Abigail Rolbiecki
On Thursday, Sep. 22, Lowry Mall sprouted a cornucopia of local food ranging from heirloom tomatoes to hand-made semolina pasta. MU’s Wellness Resource Center and Sustainability Office had teamed up once again to sponsor the second Campus Farmer’s Market of the season. Strolling through the three food stands and five informational booths, I easily spent the entirety of my lunch break basking in the glory that is a farmer’s market on a beautiful fall afternoon.
Something I love about the farmer’s markets on campus is the large amount of information a student can find on healthy living. Registration for the market is open to both food vendors and information providers, which garners a useful balance of education and action at the event.
For example, if students don’t know what to make with their newly purchased array of fresh veggies, the Wellness Resource Center’s booth offers a number of recipes. I’m personally excited about the Grilled Heirloom Tomato & Pesto Pizza and Vegetarian Tacos with Goat Cheese recipes I picked up. There were alsoguides to eating local, nutrition tips for busy students, and the “Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Bell Peppers,” which I might just frame and put up on my kitchen wall.
Once I made the rounds through the informational booths, it was time to unleash the local foodie in me. Fortunately, fall is one of my favorite harvest seasons and there was a large supply of sweet potatoes, red bell peppers and baked goods to satiate my cravings. Unfortunately, there were NO EGGS ANYWHERE. My breakfast of cold cereal and tears Friday morning was severely lacking.
A new addition to this month’s market was the Pasta Italia homemade pasta stand. . This stand sells fresh, 100% Italian semolina pastas, olives and Italian seasonings. If you’re looking to try something new at the market, this stand is it. I have yet to try any of the pastas, but I bought magical seasoning made up of ground parmesan, garlic and basil that turns all of my cooking into mouth-watering Italian goodness.
As usual, the Missouri Legacy Beef tent attracted a large number of hungry students. If you’re just looking for a quick bite of local fare, this is the best choice. They were selling cheeseburgers and BBQ sandwiches for $4 and a rib eye sandwich for $6, with the addition of chips and a drink for the full meal price of $8. In the words of one of the Legacy Beef representatives manning the grill on Friday “It’s all fast and it’s all good!”
And what would a farmer’s market in Columbia be without Grandma Barb? Her pies and cookies were best sellers among sweet-toothed students, as were her jams and apple butter.
I would encourage MU students to take a few minutes out of their day for the next campus farmer’s market on Oct. 27th. This event is a great opportunity to learn about eating healthy, local food. It’s also a great springboard for other farmer’s markets in the area, as the Wellness Resource Center all offers maps and information about other local farmers markets such as the Columbia Farmers Market and the Boone County Farmer’s Market.