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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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Weekly farmers market to run Sept. 25-Oct. 23

Members of the University and local communities will have an opportunity to purchase fresh locally grown produce on campus at a new farmers market at Firestone Plaza, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 25 through Oct. 23.

The market is an initiative of the Greening Dining Group, a partnership between the Department of Dining Services and Greening Princeton, a student organization devoted to improving environmental sustainability. The effort is part of Princeton's expanding sustainability programs and is sponsored by several campus offices.

"The farmers market was conceived to generate awareness on Princeton's campus about the benefits of local produce and educate students about the importance of sustainably produced food," said senior Kathryn Andersen, who is organizing the market with junior Ruthie Schwab. "Local produce is preferable to food that has been transported many miles for several reasons: health, freshness, energy conservation, and stimulation of the local economy."

Andersen noted that farmers markets have become increasingly popular around the country. While several markets are available in the area, they are mainly open in the late spring and summer when students are not on campus. In addition to operating at a time when students are on campus, the Princeton market will be a convenient option for students who do not have cars, as well as for faculty, staff and local community members who work near campus.

Local farmers and businesses that use sustainable practices have been invited to participate. Confirmed vendors are Cherry Grove Farm, Fruitwood Orchards, Small World Coffee, Valley Shepherd Creamery and Witherspoon Bread Company. Items available will include organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs, cheeses, breads, baked goods, ice cream and coffee.

The initiative is modeled after successful farmers markets launched at other universities to create awareness about the benefits of local produce and support area farmers.

The market also will be an opportunity to learn more about sustainability at Princeton from campus groups that contribute to University sustainability initiatives, including the Office of Sustainability and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

Dining Services, which has been working to bring both environmentally friendly and locally grown food into the University's dining halls, will have a table at the market featuring Princeton chefs presenting cooking demonstrations.

The farmers market also is sponsored by the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, the Office of Sustainability, the Department of Building Services, the Department of Grounds and Building Maintenance, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, the Pace Center, the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Undergraduate Student Government Projects Board.

More information is available on the farmers market website.

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