The Prairie View Farmers’ Market
October 28 –The all-new Prairie View Farmers’ Market is off to a great start! With its recent debut on the Prairie View A&M University campus, it is sure to have continued success in the coming months.
The first two Prairie View Farmers’ Market events have attracted more than 100 attendees from the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as residents of the city of Prairie View and other surrounding towns. The market was met with great enthusiasm by those who came to make purchases of a variety of leafy greens, okra, peppers, sorrel, tomatoes, and more. Ms. Corliss Ondijo and Mr. George Walker, both of whom are local producers and owners, were two of the market vendors. Ms. Ondijo expressed that she was extremely “pleased that Prairie View A&M University had established a Farmers’ Market.” She is looking forward to being a mainstay among its community producers, where she plans to offer seasonal vegetables, herbs, and honey.
In a joint collaboration with the Cooperative Extension Program’s (CEP) Agriculture Natural Resources (AgNR) Unit, the Cooperative Agriculture Research Center (CARC), the College of Business (COB), and the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) launched the inaugural Prairie View Farmers’ Market on October 3, 2019, followed by a second event on October 10, 2019. Both were held from 9 AM-1 PM in the Courtyard of the Panther Plaza Retail Center, located at 39725 Owens Road, just south of the main campus, in Prairie View, Texas.
Through this four-way partnership, CEP-AgNR is developing a model Farmers’ Market initiative as part of its Urban Agriculture Program, which is aimed at addressing the issue of food deserts that exist within the city of Prairie View and other communities across the State of Texas. The seasonal Prairie View Farmers’ Market will give the university community local access to fresh produce and other goods and is expected to have a positive impact on the local economy. The market encompasses two market vendor components. First, the market includes vendors who are small-scale farmers, for whom the market is expected to provide a supplemental source of income. Second, the market involves student vendors, comprised primarily of Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) students. The students have raised a variety of vegetables and herbs in a student-led community garden, including several types of watermelons, okra, and leafy greens. The vegetables that are grown in the student-led community garden depends largely upon feedback received from a survey, and on the planting season during that time. As the seasons change, the produce grown throughout the year will change. The PV Farmers’ Market will soon be held on a more consistent basis, and dates for the market are forthcoming, though the timeframe will depend on what produce will be available.
Producers are invited to participate in the Prairie View Farmers’ Market. To get a Farmers’ Market Application, contact Angela Moore, Program Specialist of the CEP-AgNR.
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.
Extension Associate, Agriculture and Natural Resources