Farm-Fresh Produce Returns to Campus

Weekly Duke Farmers Market begins its season April 29

Visitors to the Duke Farmers Market will find an array of fruits and vegetables throughout the spring and summer. Photo by April Dudash.
Visitors to the Duke Farmers Market will find an array of fruits and vegetables throughout the spring and summer. Photo by April Dudash.

Starting Friday, Duke community members will once again have a weekly opportunity to stock up on farm-fresh fruits and veggies right on campus.

The Duke Farmers Market returns this Friday, April 29, with about a dozen farmers and vendors that offer locally sourced produce, breads, meat and more.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 30, the market will set up on the green space between the Bryan Research and Nanaline H. Duke buildings on West Campus. LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program that sponsors the event, will hold weekly raffles and offer handouts at each market that highlight a different North Carolina-grown item with recipe ideas. Lunch options are also served from eight different vendors.

Brian Livingstone, a neurodiagnostic information systems technologist in the Health System and a regular at the Duke Farmers Market, said he enjoys making his weekly trip to the market because finding in-season produce is made easy. He especially loves hearing from farmers about growing items like strawberries, peaches, cucumbers and kale.

“It saves me time from going to a standard grocery store and sorting through fruits and vegetables that are imported from all over the world,” he said. “I like to interact with the people who grow my food because it enables me to be more knowledgeable about my food and creative with what I make.”

To kickoff the opening of the market, LIVE FOR LIFE will have singer/songwriter Kelly Howerton performing live music as well as informational tables for Duke Campus Farm and Lo & Behold Natural Body Products. Staff from Duke’s Parking and Transportation office will also be on hand to talk about special events being held during National Bike Month in May.

In addition to the main market on West Campus, Duke Regional Hospital will also have several vendors visit from 3 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday from May 3 to Sept. 27.

Cassandra Callas, health education specialist with LIVE FOR LIFE, said the most popular aspect of the Duke Farmers Market is the fact it comes directly to campus, making shopping for healthy foods easy.

“The location is convenient so faculty and staff can engage in sustainable food and meet local farmers without traveling far from their offices,” Callas said. “It’s a quick stop during a lunch break to find inspiration for healthy and delicious food.”