May 3, 2006
Homegrown Alabama, a student-led group that educates the community about the value and importance of local produce, sponsored an open-air market at Ferguson Center Plaza on The University of Alabama campus Thursday, May 3.
Farmers from Tuscaloosa, Northport, Duncanville, Coker, Fayette, Thorsby, Clanton and elsewhere displayed racks of fresh tomatoes, turnips, onions, new potatoes, English peas and collards, as well as eggs, cheese, pastries and jars of home-prepared honey, jams and jellies.
"This event promotes home-grown as best for nutrition, best for the local economy, and best for personal health," said chief organizer of the event Max Young, a senior food and nutrition major from New Orleans.
Young and other students are enrolled in Nutrition and Hospitality Management 490, an independent study course. About a dozen students worked for several months to bring the event to the campus, giving many local farmers a chance to showcase their products.
The event featured Tres Jackson, chef and owner of Tuscaloosa's Epiphany Restaurant. Guests sampled Jackson's dishes made from the produce at the market.
Partners were the UA Office of Community Affairs, Ferguson Center, Bama Dining and the Alabama Farmers Market Authority (http://www.fma.state.al.us/).
Homegrown Alabama, formed in 2005, has student members from varying academic majors in the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences. The faculty adviser is Mildred Switzer, UA instructor of human nutrition and hospitality management.