Goodwin College Riverside Farmers’ Market Opens
On Tuesday, July 9, Goodwin College officially opened the Riverside Farmers’ Market, which will be available to the public every Tuesday from 3 – 6 p.m. through October.
Goodwin’s Riverside Farmers’ Market is a participant in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for WIC and SNAP recipients and senior citizens. Goodwin is also offering free services and consultations to market customers. Shoppers can have their blood pressure checked and learn about yoga and other exercise programs, among other services.
Futtner’s Farm and Unity Farm, located in Glastonbury and Manchester respectively, provided a wide variety of fresh produce and welcomed a crowd of customers.
Honora Futtner, wife of fourth generation farmer Jim Futtner, explained that she is happy to be a part of this collaboration.
“This is in my town. I wanted to be among the first to do something cool at Goodwin. Goodwin has a great reputation for being community spirited,” Futtner stated.
The Futtner family immigrated to the United States in the 1880s and was recently presented with the Century Award by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
Lauren Fahey, a 20-year-old college student, has been working for Futtner’s Farm for the past six years.
“I’ve learned a lot about work ethic and nutrition. It’s been a great way to learn where food comes from and the importance of buying local rather than at a grocery store,” Fahey said.
South Windsor native Stephanie Young came to “lend support and see what the market is like.” Young gave tips on recipes and the use of fresh produce.
Howard Jacobs, a third generation farmer, his wife Cheryl, and daughter Kelly were at the market representing Unity Farm which has been in business since 1938.
“Our farm is family owned and run; that’s why it’s called Unity. It is the most rewarding thing to see customers purchase our produce. We put a lot of sweat and hard work into our business,” Jacobs said.
Unity Farm has been participating in various farmers’ markets for 35 years. “They have become much more popular. People want to know where their produce is coming from,” Jacobs explained.
Fresh produce and the awareness of healthy eating has become a positive epidemic which farmers like the Futtners and Jacobs hope will continue.
“There has always been a need for fresh produce, but there is an increased awareness now. I think it’s really important for people to learn about nutrition,” Futtner said.
Goodwin also boasts a Community Garden on Main Street, where gardeners are given a place to grow fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, and other plants. The Garden serves as a symbol of the College’s efforts to benefit the East Hartford community.
Sandy Pearce, Goodwin College’s Web Master, put a lot of effort and hard work into the implementation of both the Community Garden and the Riverside Farmers’ Market for the benefit of those at Goodwin College and in the community.
Continuing with the theme of healthy living and community outreach, Goodwin has decided not to charge a booth fee for vendors at the Farmers’ Market, but asks that the vendors consider donating unsold food to the Transitions Food Bank, the College’s food pantry for students and families in need. A large amount of produce grown in the Community Garden is donated to the Pantry.
For more information on the Farmers’ Market contact Sandy Pearce at 860-727-6754.
To see the photo gallery click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodwincollege/sets/72157634575957625/
By: Hannah Stacy