The fourth annual LaVell Edward’s Stadium Farmers Market saw a successful opening day for both buyers and sellers, and the rest of the season looks promising.
For the past four years, local farmers and crafters have gathered in the parking lot of LaVell Edwards Stadium to sell their wares. Once a week for three months, the market offers students access to fresh produce, handmade crafts, concessions from BYU dining services and other vendors.
The merchants are nearly all residents of Utah Valley, and they range from seasoned salespeople to hopeful new entrepreneurs.
Orem resident Alan Rollins and his wife, Katherine, have sold produce from their “Garden of Weed’n” at the market since the opening year. Alan spends much of his day working in the garden, and the couple are happy to sell their surplus to community members, particularly students.
“I’ve heard a few people say that it’s good for the students to get nutritional food,” Katherine said.
She points out that many students don’t have cars, making grocery shopping an arduous task. LaVell Edwards Stadium is just up the street from the three freshman housing complexes, as well as several off-campus apartments.
The market also allows students to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the farm. As Lori Stubbs, of the local Stubbs Farm, tells customers all her produce is grown without using sprays or pesticides. She believes that people enjoy knowing where their food came from and how it was grown, which is why farmer’s markets are gaining popularity across the country.
“People come from all over and are used to markets, so they like that they can come to Provo and find fresh produce,” she said.
BYU student Camille Andrus, 18, agrees. A native of California, she is used to farmers markets, and while she wished the BYU market were larger, she was happy for the opportunity to buy inexpensive fresh food and spend time outdoors in a friendly environment with her two friends. All three freshmen found out about the farmer’s market from the signs posted around the stadium.
The youngest vendor at this year’s market discovered it in a similar way. When 13-year-old Sadie Tayler drove past the 2012 farmer’s market with her family, her interest was piqued. She thought she might want to try her hand at running her own stall.
The Provo resident, under her mother’s instructions, made dozens and dozens of sewn cloth bags of rice that can be frozen or heated as needed to provide relief for physical aches and pains. As of the first day, Tayler is pleased with her success.
“I sold more than I expected,” she said. “If it keeps doing as well as it is, I’ll continue (in future years).”
Beyond fresh produce and Sadie’s rice bags, shoppers can find homemade jellies, bread, honey and pillowcases. Although the Lavell Edwards Stadium market isn’t as large as others in Utah, merchants find that the demand for their wares is high in Provo.
Miriam Corona, of Spanish Fork, sells her homemade salsa at various markets around Utah County. Pleased with the results of the BYU market, she decided to return.
“BYU had the best farmers market last year,” she said. “It was the most successful.”
The success of the LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmers Market proves that locally produced goods are in demand in the Provo area, and attendees are generally pleased with the selection of goods and the friendly environment. The market will be open every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. until Oct. 31.