Kennesaw State hosts its first campus farmers market

Kennesaw State hosted its first campus farmer's market Sept. 5

Locally grown and harvested wildflower honey, heirloom tomatoes, hydroponic lettuce and apples among the offerings

Labor Day may mark the official end of summer on the calendar, but summer’s bounty was on full display Sept. 5 when Kennesaw State University hosted its first campus farmers market.

“All of the vendors sold out of most of their goods by the end of the day,” said Melissa McMahon, marketing manager for culinary and hospitality services and farmer’s market manager. “The vendors were so pleased with how well they did, they are all returning next week.”

Eleven vendors offering locally grown and organic fare, including wildflower honey, heirloom tomatoes, organic granola, broccoli, hydroponic lettuce, apples and handmade goat’s milk products, were on hand for the farmers market, which will be open every Wednesday from noon until 3 p.m. until the beginning of November.

“There’s a huge educational component to all of this,” McMahon said, noting it is estimated more than 1,000 people visited the farmers market Wednesday. “With our farm-to-campus program and all of the work we do at Apple Springs Farm, it just made sense we would support sustainability on campus and bring locally grown products to students and staff so they could experience that.”

Vendors and their products at Wednesday’s farmers market included:

  • Boston Brittle Co.
    Brittle with all natural ingredients and no corn syrup
     
  • Capra Gia Cheese Co.
    Fresh, handmade goat’s milk products and award-winning goat milk flavored chevre cheese and feta
     
  • Cuisine on the Run
    Old-fashioned plain and jalapeno pimento cheese, gourmet chicken salad and SunGoat Pesto
     
  • Faith Family Farms
    "Certified Naturally Grown” heirloom tomatoes
     
  • Hometown Honey
    Wildflower honey, pomegranates, vegetables
     
  • King of Pops
    Fresh, natural, handmade ice pops from local and organic ingredients
     
  • Mercier Orchards
    Apples
     
  • Pure Bliss Organics
    Organic granola, energy bars, gourmet nuts
     
  • The REAL BREAD Co.
    Whole wheat bread from freshly milled whole wheat flour, milk-free cookies, muffins
     
  • Tucker Farms
    Naturally grown vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, greens, squash) and hydroponic lettuce
     
  • Wolfscratch Farms
    Naturally grown vegetables

A true highlight of the Sustainable Dining Program at Kennesaw State is its farm-to-campus program, launched in May 2010. Initially operating a two-acre organic farm just outside Cartersville, Ga., Kennesaw State expanded the program in the last year to include a second property – an additional 40-acres with 6,000 square feet of greenhouse space in Ball Ground, Ga.

Only heirloom varieties are cultivated, using organic methods of soil preparation, pest control and fertilization. In addition to growing its own produce, Culinary & Hospitality Services installed an apiary on the properties, which currently houses 48 honeybee colonies to assist with open-pollinated varietals. Produce (and honey) harvested from both farms is served in The Commons year-round.

For more information about Kennesaw State’s farm-to-campus program, visit: http://www.kennesawstatedining.com/sustainability/farm.html.

--By Jennifer Hafer