Finding food, community at farmers market


Those seeking fresh local produce, food trucks, live music or simply a good time can find it at the College Hill Farmers Market every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.

The market is run by the UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE). Jodie Huegerich, who works with the CEEE as UNI’s local food program manager, said it encourages healthier eating, promotes local businesses and offers a fun and free event for people of all ages.

According to Huegerich, the market has grown in size and frequency since it was began seven years ago. Today, it averages 13 vendors — it began with six — and takes place four times a month, as opposed to its initial once-per-month schedule.

Many vendors have been attending the market since its inception, including Adolphs Produce & Bakery and Browns Gardens.

Browns Gardens, owned by Bridget and Brandon Brown, is best known for its sweet corn and sells a variety of fruits and vegetables. The owners said they love to come to the market for the upbeat environment and to interact with local residents.

Adolphs Produce and Bakery, run by Ken and Carolyn Adolphs, are known for their Super Sweet Sweet Corn, peppers, lettuce and green beans, all of which are available at the market.

Carolyn Adolphs appreciated how many college students attended the most recent market on Sept. 5.

“College kids are very good buyers,” she said. “I see a lot of them at the market and I’m impressed at the produce they buy. It’s probably much easier to eat at the dining centers, but they choose to eat very healthy.”

Many UNI students are faithful attendees of the market year to year, and many first-year students have taken an immense liking to the event as well.

“I heard about the market from the flyer I recieved,” said Isabel Harms, a first-year student majoring in statistics and actuarial science. “I had a lot of fun and was really surprised by the live music; it definitely wasn’t something I was expecting.”

Another first-year student, physics major Jeanine Voyek, was impressed by what was available at the market.

“There’s a large variety of produce here, and it’s a nice change from the dining centers,” she said. “So if you like that kind of stuff, there’s a ton of it.”

Freshman TESOL major Ava Deitrich said she enjoyed the sense of community the market provided.

“It was a great experience that I’m really glad they introduced to us as first-years,” she said. “Everyone was so nice to me and really made me feel like I was part of the community.”

The College Hill Farmers Market offers a rewards card that allows holders to redeem a coupon after they have filled seven $3 punches, according to Hannah Sanderman and Karly Cook, who are both leisure, youth & human services and education majors who work at the market.

The market is held weekly from June to October. It is located on College St on the first Thursday of each month and in the parking lot next to Octopus on other Thursdays.