Planning the Spring Market

The UNM Sustainability Studies SUST-364 Growers’ Market Practicum students have been hard at work learning about our local foodshed and planning the 5th Annual Sustainability Expo & Lobo Growers’ Market. The growers’ market will be back on campus for an Earth-Day inspired event on April 23, 2013 from 10am-2pm on Cornell Mall.

For the last two months, students have been researching the logistical aspects of planning and managing growers’ markets, while simultaneously organizing the on-campus Lobo Growers’ Market event. The class has received guidance from numerous campus and community experts, and has had the opportunity to attend a variety of fun and educational field trips.

Experts:
Tiffany Terry (MRCOG Agriculture Collaborative) talked to us about the Agriculture Collaborative and the Central New Mexico LandLink program.

Jedrek Lamb (Granja Para Mañana Farm) discussed his work as a board member of the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association and the Albuquerque Growers’ Market Alliance. He also shared his perspectives on starting the Albuquerque Northeast Height Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, and on making ends meet as a local farmer in Bosque Farms.

Avery Anderson (Quivira Coalition Executive Director), reviewed Quivira’s history as a “do tank” and shared information about their new agrarian programs and land restoration workshops.

Shawn Weed (Chartwells Executive Chef) gave us the low-down on purchasing and preparing campus food, and took us on a behind the scenes tour of La Posada Dining Hall.

Gina Meyers (Downtown Growers’ Market Manager) described her top ten tips for holding a successful market event and being a reliable market manager.

Sarah Wentzel-Fisher (Editor of edible Santa Fe and Assistant Membership Coordinator at La Montanita Food Co-op) provided insight on how to effectively advertise a growers’ market event on campus and how to engage with more partners and stakeholders in the local food system.

Field Trips:
We performed a market assessment and bought seasonal produce and value-added items at the Santa Fe Winter Farmers’ Market.

Our group learned about food insecurity in New Mexico and saw first hand the ways Roadrunner Food Bank is combating hunger in our state.

Shawn Weed took us on a tour of UNM’s La Posada Dining Hall, and treated us to a delicious, healthy lunch!

We spent a crisp, clear morning with farmers from the Fairfield Growers’ Cooperative pruning apple trees at the Historic King Apple Orchard in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

Another gorgeous (albeit blustery) morning was spent plating hundreds of leeks and onions at Sol Harvest Farm, on the property of and Farm & Table Restaurant.

We’ll also be going on a field trip to the La Montanita Co-op Distribution Center warehouse and the South Valley Economic Development Center “Mixing Bowl” commercial kitchen, in conjunction with this week’s Beyond Pesticides conference!

Can’t wait for this year’s Lobo Growers’ Market? Check out video clips from local television stations, KASA and The Mtn, to see their coverage of last year’s event. Stay tuned for more information about the market and join us for a four part film series during the month leading up to the event.

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