Farmer’s MarCat brings fresh, local produce to campus



By Savannah Patton

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Local farmers, restaurants and student organizations set up in the Student Center Monday with one goal in mind: to encourage UK students to eat local and live sustainably.

The Farmer’s MarCat is a semiannual event, sponsored by the UK Student Activities Board (SAB).

The event strives to bring together a variety of groups and organizations to work together toward living sustainably and supporting Lexington’s local farmers.

This semester students were able to purchase raw honey and sample cheeses and fruits from local farmers and businesses.

Farmers said they came to the MarCat because they believe in the importance of living sustainably and helping the students do the same.

“There are some resources that we only have so much of,” UK MBA student Jim Burgess said.

He said he tries to live sustainably as far as it’s economically possible.

Burgess made a sustainable and economical choice at the MarCat by purchasing some of Nick Nickels’ local raw honey, which is produced in Fayette County.

Nickels’ booth was one of the more crowded, and some students remembered his honey from a previous year.

“I am interested in students and making my goods available to them,” Nickels, who has participated in the MarCat four times, said.

Another local food organization, Good Foods Market and Café , was giving out free locally grown bananas and apples to students as they walked by the MarCat.

Good Foods focuses not only on locally-grown items, but also on items grown without harmful chemicals.

This business is unique because it specializes in serving all natural foods.

“One important thing about us is that we are a co-op, not a corporation,” said Carole Dickie, Good Foods marketing representative.

According to an informational brochure provided, Good Foods supports over 250 local farmers.

Besides the cafe, they also have classes about how to eat and grow healthy foods.

Instead of selling their food, some farmers gave away samples and offered suggestions on how UK could become more sustainable.

Dickie believes that if local farmers provide food for UK’s dining halls and campus eateries, students would be eating sustainably while being economically friendly.

Nickels, who has a love for students and living sustainably, knows how scarce resources are and wants students to know the same.

He said that we can only produce what we have available to us and that if we are more sustainable and careful, we will be able to produce more.

The Farmer’s MarCat shows just what can happen when students team up with the community to make a difference in the way they live.

According to the SAB website, the MarCat helps us all to “work together to make UK and our community truly ‘see blue’ and ‘eat green’.”