Duke Farmers Market Among 'Most Impressive'

Website cites Duke market as more than 'an open-air grocery store'

Eggplant is just one of many types of produce shoppers can find at the Duke Farmers Market. Photo by Bryan Roth.

The theme for this year's Duke Farmers Market may be "local foods, global flavors," but the market is turning heads nationally.

The market - now in its 12th season at Duke - was recently named among the "10 Most Impressive College Farmers Markets" by BestCollegesOnline.com, a website that covers higher education news and provides information on colleges across the country. Other markets listed are the University of South Carolina, Harvard University and University of California-Davis. Duke was recognized for its success in growing the farmers market as well as the Duke Mobile Farmers Market.

"What struck us about Duke's market is the effort that's obviously gone into making it more than just an open-air grocery store," said Laura Milligan, editor of BestCollegesOnline.com. "The weekly themes, the recipe cards, the giveaways, the promotion of the LIVE FOR LIFE program - it all works to create a unique atmosphere that the best farmers markets always have."

The market, which is run by LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program, hosts about a dozen local farmers and vendors on Fridays by the Bryan Research Building, off Research Drive. Shoppers can find flowers, herbs, spices and produce grown with little or no pesticides.

Julie Joyner, manager of LIVE FOR LIFE, said the farmers market is a valuable offering for Duke community members because it makes it convenient to get fruits and vegetables into diets, which makes healthy living easier.

"The health and well-being of our students and employees is very important, and we know that eating more fruits and vegetables is more likely to foster good health and prevent illness, compared to processed foods," Joyner said. "By coming by the market, shoppers can enjoy healthy, fresh and seasonally-grown food, while supporting our local community."

To celebrate Duke's recognition by BestCollegesOnline.com, Duke students, faculty and staff can stop by the market to pick up a free copy of "Local Foods, Global Flavors: Duke Farmers Market 2012 Recipe Collection." Shoppers can use recipes from the cookbook to create flavorful meals using ingredients from the market.

See the full list of the 10 Most Impressive College Farmers Markets at BestCollegesOnline.com.