Students looking to buy fresh farm produce no longer have to go downtown on Saturday mornings, but instead can stay on campus.
The Downtown Saturday Market, which is a part of the Murray Main Street organization, is coming to Murray State for three days during September.
The farmer’s market will be Sept. 3, 10 and 17 from 2:30 – 6 p.m.
Mark Welch, director of community relations, said Murray Main Street has grown sustainably in the last couple of years, so it was looking for new ways to reach out to community members and students, so the idea of selling on campus came about.
“They’ve been trying to work on moving the farmer’s market off downtown,” Welch said. “This month several vendors have been selling produce at the hospital. This on-campus farmer’s market is basically an extension of that.”
The farmer’s market on campus will be in the driveway behind the Applied Sciences building, and the market at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital is located in the Poplar Street parking area, across from the Center for Health and Wellness.
“We’re going to try September and see where we go from there,” Welch said. “Part of the problem is there is a policy on campus that a vendor can only have three days of commerce per semester. I had originally planned to do the whole month and then discovered that policy.”
Welch said he is going to talk with officials at the University to see if he can work around the policy.
“But I can understand it, they don’t want people parking on campus and trying to sell stuff,” Welch said. “I’m hoping for 6-8 farmers, that’s my goal Town and Gown is the sponsoring organization on campus.”
“We’re trying to promote sustainability issues, encourage students, faculty and staff to buy local. It’s only produce.”
Town & Gown and members of the Murray Environmental Student Society are working in conjunction with the downtown market in several ways. MESS volunteered to develop promotion and help the vendors with setup and sales.
Deana Wright, Murray Main Street manager, said the market, which is in its 15th year, has become a regular staple in the community.
Located on the Court Square, it has traditionally been only open on Saturday mornings.
“In August we took it to the hospital to promote their healthy eating initiative,” Wright said. “We thought we’d bring the market to the University faculty, staff and students, so they could get a look at what all it had to offer.”
She said fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts will be sold at the market on campus.
“We want to bring awareness to the entire market,” Wright said.
Kassity Whinchester, freshman from Murray, said she is excited for some locally grown fruit to be on campus.
“I’m from Murray, so I’m glad to see the local support between the community and the University,” Whinchester said. “I’m always running around on campus between my classes, and being a student worker, it’ll be great to be able to pick up fresh fruit, even if they are only on campus once a week.”