Our Guide to the University of Maryland Farmers Market
By Adelia McGuire
May 1, 2023
Image credit: Adelia McGuire for The Campus Trainer
Follow the scent of freshly brewed coffee and scrumptious baked pastries wafting through campus and join fellow Terps at the University of Maryland farmers market!
On April 5th the UMD farmers market reopened for the spring season. The market prides itself on offering an array of local vendors who operate within 250 miles of College Park. Each of the 14 producer-only vendors displays goods that have been grown or made by the farmer or producer themselves. According to Joe Mullineaux , the interim director of UMD dining services the farmers market was first created with the objective to, “… raise campus awareness of local farmers and the local ‘cottage’ industry of small local businesses.”
Every Wednesday from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. make your way over to Tawes Hall and take a stroll by the various bakeries, produce distributors, and more. The courtyard of Tawes is busy with students and market-goers, an opportunity to explore the market's different vendors and pick out a few treats! As market manager Larry Tumlin said, the market has, “…developed into something where people just come and hang out during the day time.” Enjoy your purchases on a sunny bench by the fountain or in the shade of one of the umbrella-outfitted tables!
Each vendor is unique in their offerings, here are a few we think are a must on your next trip to the market!
RavenHook Bakehouse first began operating in 2006, since its start over 16 years ago, the bakery has stayed committed to utilizing old work styles to carry out its bread making. The bakery uses all-natural ingredients to produce scrumptious fresh European-style bread and pastries. When they aren't set up in College Park, RavenHook is featured in markets all across the DMV. They are the only farmers market exclusive bakery that runs out of the D.C. area. RavenHook works to keep their artisan bread reasonably priced, which makes the bakery perfectly accommodating to college students. Each week the menu offers a unique menu of freshly crafted bread and treats, from lemon poppy seed cake to jalapeno cheddar bread you can't go wrong with your selection.
Through honing in on the concept of “coffee as produce,” Qualia Coffee strives to make each cup of coffee as fresh as the next. The roaster was first founded in 2009 in Petworth D.C. and now operates out of its storefront in Arlington and at an array of farmer's markets in the DMV. The propelling motive behind Qualia Coffee was inspired by the community feel that farmer's markets bring to the table. Qualia wanted customers to get the opportunity to meet the growers and have heightened exposure to where their coffee is coming from. The founders had the desire to treat the production of fresh coffee just as we treat fresh produce. Qualia roasts single-origin beans in small batches and sells them freshly made no more than a few days after the initial roast. Determined by the arrival of different harvesters, the rosters inventory is constantly in rotation, offering a diverse selection of freshly brewed hot and cold coffee. Alex Rivas is a face behind Qualia’s coffee vendor, while talking about their coffee, Rivas said, “We are as sustainable as it gets. There’s almost zero waste when it comes to our coffee beans.” Before your next class stop over at Qualia Coffee and taste for yourself the difference between fresh and locally produced coffee.
Country Vittles - Local Meat and Eggs
From the running of the farm to work done at the farmers market, Country Vittles from Critter Hill Farm is entirely family owned and operated. Critter Hill supplies County Vittles markets with free-range and hormone-free meats and eggs from animals raised on their family farms in northern Carroll County, Maryland, and Biglerville, Pennsylvania. Along with offering fresh brown eggs, the Country Vittles markets offer a selection of beef, pork, goat, rabbit, chicken, and turkey, all of which are all-natural and processed at local USDA butcher shops. Through prioritizing the health and conditions of their animals and in an effort to protect the environment, Critter Hill practices sustainable agriculture. While supporting Country Vittles will reward you with fresh meat, it will also allow you to contribute towards a much larger cause. If you are looking to get more involved with cooking and prioritizing clean food consumption, take advantage of the Country Vittles market purchasing fresh meats to make a fresh, delicious meal.
The energized environment of the UMD farmers market makes this event a great method of connecting the students of the University of Maryland with the surrounding community. As Mullineaux said, “Anytime we can expose our students, faculty, and staff to new things and new experiences and at the same time connect the land and sea to their dinner table is another way to enhance their learning experience while at UMCP.” For both the vendors and student customers, the farmers market is a win for all.
The semester is quickly coming to a close, before you pack up from College Park attend the University of Maryland farmers market before they close on May 10th! Treat yourself to local goods while supporting small businesses in your community.