Campus Grow petitions for on-campus farmer's market

Campus Grow president Meghan Marx holds up an apple on April 6 in the Greenhouse. Marx and her Co-President Claire Guthrie are working to pass a petition that will allow a farmers market on campus.

Campus Grow, a student organization dedicated to local foods and sustainability, recently launched a petition for an on-campus farmer's market.

The petition has 683 signatures, surpassing the group's original expectations of 500. They are now aiming for 700.

The petition states that many universities in Michigan already have farmer's markets and Central Michigan University should join in on the trend. For many students, it can be hard to consume fresh food on a daily basis. Campus Grow believes having a farmer's market would make eating healthy more convenient and economically easier for students.

"I didn't know that college campuses could have one and thats pretty unique," said Shelby Township freshman Taylor Wood. "It would definitely be a positive influence because students would have more access to fresh and local foods. It'd be easier to make healthier choices and it would also help local farmers and gardeners."

The market would also be able to act as an educational opportunity for those who decide to attend by giving them a chance to learn where some of their food actually comes from.

"Campus Grow has had this project in the works for years," said co-president Meghan Marx. "We are excited to hopefully get it started next fall either in front of Finch or the UC. It's a long process but we just want to show the University how much support we have for this project and continue to move forward."

Campus Grow representatives have met with members of the administration, but have not yet gotten a definitive answer. The idea to have a petition was a way to nudge toward the idea of a market and bringing the idea to the Mount Pleasant community. 

"We have always wanted a farmer's market," said co-president Claire Guthrie. "Last year, we had one for a day for National Food Day. There was a mini market in the middle of campus and we got a lot of positive reactions from students. We went from there and thought, 'wouldn't it be great to have this all the time?'"

The market would be an evening market to make it easier for students to access fresh local produce on campus at the beginning of fall semester for only 6 weeks. Local farmer's markets will also be promoted there.

"I am extremely happy about the Farmer's Market," said Royal Oak sophomore Steve Kwarsick. "I eat a lot of produce when I can, and going to the store to buy it is inconvenient. If there was a farmer's market on campus it would be a lot easier to eat healthy."

According to the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market, there are many farmer's markets in the community. There is one on Saturdays at City Hall June through October, as well as one on Thursdays in Island park. Midland also hosts a large farmer's market during on Wednesdays and Saturdays in May through October. These times are something to think about with opening the farmer's market on campus.