A haven of health at Harvard.
These past few days have confirmed what the calendar has been trying to say for some time now: summer is behind us! And with it, the things that summer brings leave us as well; such as an abundance of fruit and sun, plenty of chances for fun exercise, and time to rest. So even though the New England fall is as beautiful as they say, there are many term time stressors that accumulate during this seasonal transition. Classes are in full swing and midterms are already upon us (though it is hardly midway through the term), our commitments are demanding more from us, and the days seem to pass with little or no time to slow down and feel simply content. Students, including myself, are guilty of prioritizing our hectic schedules over an attention to our physical and mental health. The hectic schedules we all have can produce some of our greatest achievements and proudest moments (I firmly believe that the best papers are written under serious time constraints). However, we still must take some time to rest, be healthy, and quiet our minds.
The perfect solution to achieving that time is beyond me. I only have one small recommendation for you, Indy Readers. Visit the Farmers Market at Harvard! The Science Center Plaza tent is filled every Tuesday from noon to 6 pm with fruit stands, Union Square Donuts, flowers, and more. That great white beacon of hope almost always has the power to both provide a small escape within and to help me through a particularly busy time of the week. As such, I go as often as I can and buy flowers and fruit, talk to the people, and walk around a part of campus – as an upperclassman and humanities concentrator – I no longer have to visit. So, here is what I have learned about this particular Farmers Market and why I believe it is a haven of health at Harvard.
The market is operated, in fact, by the Harvard University Dining Services. A member of the HUDS staff that you will never see in any other related HUDS facility sits at the tent opening every week, handing out information and welcoming people. HUDS, in this market, also works through the Food Literacy Project. The market administrators receive applications every spring from farmers and vendors who would like to set up there in the fall. The market is open throughout the whole of Harvest season and does not close until November 22nd.
This year on Tuesdays one will see beloved old faces such as the Union Square Donuts group, alongside slightly newer ones like TexMex Eats and The Soup Guy. Some personal favorites of mine are the tasty honey from Warren Farm and the delicious and tiny cheesecakes from 7Ate9 Bakery. Though I am not fortunate enough to have access and control of a kitchen, I can still appreciate the variety of fresh raw products that are always available at this market. And, honestly, just seeing the kale and fish and fresh cooking materials makes me feel healthier!
Chatting with the vendors is also always fun and interesting – least of all because it is nice to meet people not defined by their status in the Harvard bubble. All of the vendors provide products from local and independently owned businesses. So during recruitment season when the networking is getting to you and corporate life seems all too unthinkable, it is incredibly helpful to feel grounded and rooted in local communities with people who are working hard for their passions.
One of my passions happens to be flowers. As whimsical as that sounds, growing up working in a greenhouse has made it so that a room without flowers is nothing short of depressing to me. Therefore, I am now the owner of a Frequent Flower Program card from Stow Greenhouses. This farmer-florist has the prettiest and most fragrant lilies I have seen since coming to college! And they are currently taking over my common room with their brightness and fragrance.
When I asked James, of Stow Greenhouses, what he thought of Harvard’s farmers market, he told me that every market has its own feel. This one, as it is frequented by students, professors, and passers-by alike, is a fun and enjoyable experience for James. I can only second such praise and extend it by saying that, for me, the Farmers Market is a significant contributor to my fall term wellness.
Caroline Cronin’s (firstname.lastname@example.org) venture to the farmer’s market this week was dramatized by the musical talents of one fantastic piano player!