With more than 12 locations across campus in 2018, M Farmers Markets are making it easy to access fresh produce straight from local farms.
On most weekdays through the fall, fruits, vegetables, flowers, patio pots and other farm products are available at an affordable price at locations on or near campus.
In partnership with MHealthy, Michigan Medicine, MDining, Central Student Government and Planet Blue, M Farmers Markets are a healthy initiative to offer sustainable, locally sourced foods to staff, faculty, students and the broader campus community.
Not only do M Farmers Markets allow for healthy and affordable food options, but it also is an opportunity for customers to engage, appreciate and learn about what local farmers do to grow food and support their communities.
M Farmers Markets also are a part of the university’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, which engages an interdisciplinary mix of students, faculty and communities at local and global levels to learn from and build food systems that are health promoting, economically viable, equitable and ecologically sound.
“The M Farmers Markets support and enhance our sustainability goals at U-M, including promoting healthy environments and community awareness,” says Keith Soster, director of student engagement.
“The markets are a great educational opportunity for everyone on campus, as well as the community, and a dynamic way to promote the local economy and help small and local farmers. The events encourage people interested in healthy sustainable lifestyles to come together to learn, engage and support area farms.”
M Farmers Market locations are:
• Wolverine Tower — Select Tuesdays, through Dec. 11.
• North Campus Research Complex — Select Tuesdays, through Dec. 4.
• University Hospital Courtyard– Thursdays, through Sept. 27 (except July 5).
• East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center — Tuesdays, through Sept. 25 (except July 3 and 31).
• KMS — Third Wednesday of every month, through September.
• Briarwood — Select Wednesdays, through Sept. 26.
• Ad Services — Select Wednesdays, July 11-Sept. 19.
• Central Campus — Select Wednesdays, July 18-Sept. 26.
• Shared Services — June 13, July 11, Aug. 8.
• The Grove (North Campus) — Select Thursdays, July 12-Sept. 6.
• Stephen M. Ross Academic Center — Select Fridays, through Sept. 21.
In addition to fresh fruits, vegetables and other locally sourced food, expanded market events include chef demonstrations, tips for healthy eating, free samples, giveaways, and more.
Expanded market locations are:
• Grassy area of Diag (Central Campus) — Sept. 13 and Oct. 11.
• The Grove (North Campus) — Sept. 27, Oct. 25.
“M Farmers Markets introduce people to the diversity of crops Michigan grows, which is only second in the nation after California. Other important components include the Michigan Dining chef demos at the expanded markets, which allow people to interact with chefs and learn new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables,” Soster says.
“We encourage partnerships with other departments and student groups on campus so the message of sustainability and healthy food can be heard on a far-reaching basis.”
Community Supported Agriculture
The university is also working with local farms to offer Community Supported Agriculture programs on campus.
CSA’s are the most direct route to get food from a farmer people know and trust, by purchasing a share in a local farm. Joining a CSA allows one to pay in advance and receive a weekly box of fresh local vegetables.